This article has been reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Rodney Soto, M.D. who is a board-certified doctor in Neurology and Holistic Medicine by the American Board of Holistic and Integrative Medicine.
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
The word hyperbaric refers to the medical use of oxygen under greater than normal atmospheric pressures. It comes from the word, hyper meaning “above” and baric meaning “heavy”, referring to the atmosphere as indicated by barometric pressure.
HBOT is a safe and effective therapy that delivers pure oxygen to the patient in a pressurized chamber, allowing the lungs to take in very high levels of pure oxygen.
History of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
British physician Nathaniel Henshaw is credited with developing a pressurized oxygen chamber used as a medical intervention in 1662. He created an airtight chamber in which the internal atmosphere could be controlled using valves, bellows, and oxygen. This early device only increased pressure in the chamber and did not actually increase oxygen concentration, as oxygen had not yet been discovered. Henshaw believed that acute conditions would benefit from increased air pressure, while chronic conditions would respond better to decreased air pressure.
Subsequently, oxygen was discovered in 1773 by Swedish pharmacist Carl Wilhelm Scheele, and 61 years later the French physician Junod built a hyperbaric chamber that was successfully used to treat conditions of the lungs. This brought a renewed interest to hyperbaric medicine and in 1917 German inventors Bernhard and Heinrich Drager successfully treated decompression from diving accidents with pressurized oxygen therapy.
HBOT became the standard treatment for military divers in the United States in the 1940s. Since then, extensive research into the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as treatment and management for a wide variety of medical conditions has continued.
Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
One hour of hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides the cells of the body 14 times more oxygen than they would normally receive.
These high oxygen levels can create amazing effects in the body such as:
- Stimulating angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels
- Stimulating neurogenesis, the growth of new nerve endings
- Reducing inflammation & swelling throughout the body
- Stimulating stem cells to become more active
- Clearing nitrogen from the cells, and filling them full of rich oxygen
- Increasing blood flow and getting more oxygen to injured tissues and to the brain
- Enhancing white blood cell activity at the wound site thereby reducing chances of infection
- Improving cognitive and psychological functions
- Attacking and eradicating harmful bacteria, viruses, and pathogens
- Forming new connective tissue and skin cells
HBOT’s therapeutic value is in promoting growth, encouraging healing, and enhancing cell and tissue repair.
It is performed under medical supervision with one of our trained technicians and as part of a comprehensive treatment program.
As a patient, you will lie in a pressurized chamber for a designated period of time and a specific number of sessions based on your individual needs.
What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Used For?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been shown to be effective for neurological conditions and many other chronic health conditions, such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease1
- Subjective Cognitive Decline
- Mild Cognitive Impairment
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Autoimmune diseases
- Chronic infections
- Low blood flow in the arteries
- Wound healing
- Crush Injuries
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Arterial gas embolisms
- Sudden deafness
- Non-healing wounds such as a diabetic foot ulcer
- Skin grafts
- Severe anemia
- Brain abscess
- Radiation injury such as from chemotherapy
- Sudden and painless vision loss
Get Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
If you have a neurological condition or any of the health conditions listed above, we highly recommend you see one of our doctors and discuss the benefits of HBOT therapy. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can help improve the body’s immune system, increase blood flow, and positively affect a number of bodily functions. HBOT is safe and non-invasive and is one of the treatments we may recommend to improve the physical and neurological health of our patients.If you would like to find out more about HBOT, contact us today at our Clearwater clinic at 727-466-6789 or submit an online patient inquiry.
*Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary based on a patient's medical history and other factors.