For most conditions HBOT is a supplemental therapy to be used in addition to current medical and surgical therapy. HBOT is definitive therapy for carbon monoxide poisoning, gas embolism and decompression illness. We treat patients with UHMS approved conditions only.
is hyperbaric oxygen therapy appropriate?
Preparing for HBOT treatments
Patients being treated should not use any tobacco products. Tobacco products of any kind will cause your blood vessels to narrow, making treatments less beneficial.
There are no eating restrictions when receiving hyperbaric treatments. Continue any special diet for diabetes, kidney failure, etc.
Hyperbaric treatments should not change the effectiveness of most medications.
What to expect
If wound care is required, the wound care and/or hyperbaric staff will perform dressing changes on patients prior to or immediately after their treatment. Patients will be assigned a specific time for their care. The hyperbaric physician will see a patient based on his/her condition. The hyperbaric staff will update the physician on the patient’s progress.
Rarely, some patients may experience temporary visual changes due to hyperbaric treatments. Patients should not buy any new glasses or contact lenses during hyperbaric treatment. Vision status will stabilize 6–8 weeks after treatments have ended.
How exactly is HBOT administered?
As pressure develops in the chamber, the patient will notice a slight warming. They will also feel a fullness in their ears and should begin ear clearing procedures. When compression is complete, the need for ear clearing ceases. The patient may now rest, watch TV, view a video tape or listen to music.
During decompression, the chamber becomes cooler and the patient will feel a slight popping sensation in their ears as they adjust to the changing pressure. There is no need to clear the ears during decompression. No oxygen mask is required in this chamber because the entire chamber is filled with oxygen.
Frequently Asked Questions -
What does HBOT feel like?
How long does a hyperbaric oxygen treatment last?
How much pressure will be used for HBOT treatment?
How many HBOT treatments does a patient need?
Does insurance cover the cost of HBOT treatments?
Will the referring doctor still remain the patient’s doctor?
What are the risks or possible side effects of HBOT?
The following list of potential side effects is reviewed with each patient prior to beginning therapy.
Otic Barotrauma (pain in the ears or sinuses).
Some patients may experience pain in their ears or sinuses. If they are not able to equalize their ears or sinuses, the pressurization will be slowed or halted and suitable remedies will be applied.
Fluid in the ears sometimes accumulates as a result of breathing high concentrations of oxygen. It may occasionally feel like having a “pillow over the ear.” This disappears after hyperbaric treatment ceases and often can be eased with decongestants.
The risk of oxygen toxicity is minimized by never exposing patients to greater pressure or longer times than are known to be safe for the body and its organs. The risk is less than one in 10,000 treatments.
Visual Changes (blurring, worsening of near-sightedness [myopia], temporary improvement in far-sightedness [presbyopia]).
After 20 or more treatments, especially for those over 40 years old, some patients may experience a change in vision. This is usually temporary and in the majority of patients, vision returns to its pre-treatment level about six weeks after the cessation of therapy. It is not advisable to get a new prescription for glasses or contacts until at least eight weeks after ending hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Maturing or Ripening Cataracts.
Individuals with cataracts have occasionally had a maturing or ripening of cataracts.
Cerebral Air Embolism and Pneumothorax.
Whenever there is a rapid change in ambient pressure, there is the possibility of rupture of the lungs with escape of air into the arteries or into the chest cavity outside the lungs. This can only occur if the normal passage of air out of the lungs is blocked during decompression. Only slow decompressions are used in HBOT to prevent this possibility. It is important for patients to breathe normally during during treatment and not hold their breath.
Some people may feel fatigue following hyperbaric treatment, but this is not a consistent finding.
Risk of Fire.
With the use of oxygen in any form there is always an increased risk of fire. However, strict precautions (including the use of 100% cotton gowns and liners) have been taken to prevent this and all applicable codes have been complied with.