The Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)
Oxygen is normally transported in the blood stream by totally saturated haemoglobin (red blood cells full of oxygen).
Where there is tissue damage resulting from trauma, it leads to reduced blood supply in the affected area and may also be accompanied by swelling due to loss of fluid into the surrounding tissues. These factors limit the delivery of oxygen, causing the traumatised area a profound oxygen deficit and thereby delaying the healing process.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy elevates oxygen delivery to the tissue. As patients breathe 100% oxygen at elevated pressure, this increased pressure causes a 10 to 15 fold increase in the oxygenation of the blood which in turn results in increased oxygen delivery to the tissues and cells of the body. This promotes tissue repair, wound healing and fracture healing, while reducing pain and swelling.
Tissue oxygen studies have shown that oxygen levels, after Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment, remain elevated for some hours after therapy, thereby lengthening the healing benefit in the affected areas.
Another benefit of HBO is the increased activity in white blood cells which in turn helps fight infection and reduces the risk of infection which is especially beneficial in wound healing and enhanced immune response.
From the varied range of conditions treated by HBOT the most common ones are the following (please note this is not an exhaustive list)
- Physical traumas and Sports injuries (muscle tears, sprains, broken bones, ligament damage, hamstring damage, etc.)
- Post surgery wounds
- Radiation tissue damage
- Chronic, non-healing wounds
- Diabetic complications
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Non Haemorrhagic stroke
- Air and gas embolism
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Smoke inhalation
- Gas gangrene
- Decompression illness
- Exceptional blood loss
- Necrotizing small tissue infections
- Thermal burns
- Acute Migraine
- M.E. (chronic fatigue)
- Leg ulcers
- Pressure sores
- ISSHL (sudden hearing loss)
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is believed to relieve and sometimes cure distressing symptoms which accompany motor neurological conditions caused by lack of oxygen to the brain, including stroke, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. MS and stroke victims may also suffer loss of limb movement, may have their speech or coordination severely compromised which is directly attributed to certain parts of the brain being deprived of oxygen and thus causing brain tissue to die.
While dead tissue cannot be revived, dying tissue can be recovered with startling success by delivering raised levels of oxygen to the affected area.