Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
Answers

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing 100% oxygen in a sealed chamber. This concentration is five times higher than the normal air we breathe. The chamber is also pressurized to create 1.5 to 3 times normal atmospheric pressure. These changes can improve blood circulation and the blood’s ability to deliver oxygen to the body.

This procedure has been used to treat many health problems, including:

  • An air bubble (embolism) which gets into the circulatory system and blocks blood flow
  • Decompression sickness , which can occur when divers or miners come to the surface too quickly
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Wound healing, especially in patients with poor circulation
  • Radiation therapy injuries following treatment for cancer
  • Skin grafts , flaps, or burns

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
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Possible Complications

If you are planning to have HBOT, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Mild discomfort
  • Nearsightedness (myopia), which can last for weeks or months
  • Sinus damage, ruptured middle ear, or lung damage
  • Damage to the ear drum (tympanic membrane)
  • Oxygen toxicity, which can cause seizures , fluid in the lungs, or respiratory failure
  • Worsening symptoms or increased risk for lung problems in people with congestive heart failure or lung disease

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure. The safety of HBOT has not been tested on patients with seizure disorders.

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following...

 
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