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12 Facts About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Answers to Your Top HBOT Questions


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) - The Dearing Clinic


Have you heard about the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) but have some lingering questions? Learn all about this beneficial therapy with these 12 must-know facts, from how it’s good for every tissue in your body to the one minor downside of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (also known as HBOT) is a therapeutic treatment that involves breathing in pure oxygen in a pressurized environment known as a hyperbaric chamber. The primary goal is to increase the oxygen levels in tissues throughout your body in order to promote healing and provide numerous other health benefits.


Essentially, the idea behind hyperbaric oxygen therapy is that taking in pure oxygen in a pressurized environment allows your lungs to take in a higher concentration of oxygen, which is then dissolved into your bloodstream. As your blood carries this high concentration of oxygen throughout your body, it reaches areas it typically wouldn’t, including any damaged tissues or organs. 


But that’s not all. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is well known to stimulate the release of growth factors and stem cells. As a result, it facilitates tissue and cellular regeneration and repair (due to the HBOT’s hyperoxic-hypoxic paradox effects), faster healing, and overall well-being.


To learn more about what to expect during hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the top benefits of HBOT, special considerations for use, and especially what it’s like being in a hyperbaric chamber, check out this article: What Is a Hyperbaric Chamber?


Now that you know a bit more about what hyperbaric oxygen therapy is and how it works, it’s time to reveal the top 12 facts anyone curious about HBOT—as well as anyone wanting to live a healthier life in general—should know.


12 Facts About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Here are some of the top facts to know about hyperbaric oxygen therapy.


1. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is good for every tissue in your body.

As we reviewed above, hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases oxygen delivery to all of the tissues in your body, which promotes healing and enhances your body's natural processes. As a result, it is known to accelerate wound healing, cool inflammation, and improve the function of several different organs. Specifically, it’s been shown to slow aging, help treat radiation injury in cancer patients, treat carbon monoxide poisoning, and much more.


Additionally, it's important to note that HBOT can enhance your body's ability to fight infections. How? The high levels of oxygen create an environment where certain bacteria struggle to survive. Additionally, it’s been shown to improve circulation and even stimulate the growth of new blood vessels, all of which contribute to its widespread therapeutic effects.


2. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can leave you feeling energized or relaxed and sleepy.

One of the most interesting aspects of HBOT is that its immediate effects are highly individualized. While many patients report feeling energized and refreshed immediately following their session, some share that they feel relaxed and even sleepy due to the increased oxygen levels in their bodies. 


3. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions are known as dives.

Since HBOT is performed inside a chamber that can be pressurized, the treatment sessions are often referred to as dives. This is primarily because the pressure inside the chamber mimics the pressure found at certain depths underwater. At The Dearing Clinic, our medical grade hyperbaric chamber mimics the pressure of being up to 30 feet under the sea.


4. Getting hyperbaric oxygen therapy should be comfortable.

Despite what you may suspect, getting hyperbaric oxygen therapy should be completely comfortable. At The Dearing Clinic, we have an open air chamber so you can be fully clothed in a spacious and well-lit environment, allowing you to relax during the treatment. You can also communicate with the medical staff outside the chamber as needed. 


Furthermore, the pressurization process in the hyperbaric chamber is gradual and gentle, minimizing any discomfort that may arise from changes in pressure. Patients often report feeling a sense of relaxation during the treatment, with some even falling asleep due to the calming environment within the chamber. As a result, we make it easy for you to sit or lie down. You can even have a comfort person inside the chamber with you, if you so desire. The controlled nature of the therapy ensures that you can experience its full benefits without any pain or discomfort.


5. The average HBOT dive lasts just over an hour.

Most hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions last approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. However, the total treatment duration can vary depending on the condition being treated and the individual patient's needs. We typically allow 10 minutes to slowly increase the pressure, a full hour for treatment, and another 10 minutes to slowly decrease the pressure back to normal.


6. You can expect some ear pressure in the first and last 10 minutes of your dive.

During the descent and ascent of the chamber, you may experience pressure in your ears. This is similar to the pressure changes you experience during air travel. While it's can be a little uncomfortable (making it the one minor potential downside of HBOT), it can easily be relieved by swallowing, yawning, or performing the Valsalva maneuver (pinching the nostrils and blowing gently).


7. All hyperbaric chambers are NOT the same.

There are different types of hyperbaric chambers, ranging from small individual chambers to large multi-person chambers. At The Dearing Clinic, we recommend using a hard shell medical grade chamber from a reputable facility. Here’s why: Medical grade chambers adhere to strict regulations and quality standards to provide a controlled environment that maximizes the therapeutic benefits of HBOT. By choosing a reputable facility with a medical grade chamber, you can ensure that you are receiving the highest standard of care and the most effective treatment for your specific medical needs.


8. Insurance will typically cover HBOT for 20 different diagnoses.

Many insurance providers typically cover HBOT for a variety of conditions, including diabetic foot ulcers, radiation injury, certain infections, and more. It's important to check with your insurance provider to determine your specific coverage eligibility.


9. You’ll likely notice results from HBOT within two to three weeks.

While the exact timeline for seeing results varies depending on the condition being treated, many patients experience improvement within the first two to three weeks of starting HBOT. However, longer treatment courses may be necessary for more chronic or complex conditions.


10. You may experience results after your first hyperbaric oxygen therapy dive.

Some patients report feeling immediate improvements in symptoms after just one HBOT session. These improvements often include reduced pain, improved energy levels, and enhanced overall well-being.


11. It takes 40 HBOT dives to achieve permanency.

If you're undergoing HBOT for a chronic condition, such as radiation injury or neurological disorders, you may require a treatment course of 40 dives to achieve long-lasting or permanent results. However, the exact number of dives may vary depending on individual factors and the specific condition being treated.


This is important to note because the time commitment for HBOT is not just limited to the duration of the individual dives. The therapy's effects continue to work in your body even after you have completed a dive, with many patients reporting ongoing improvements in their condition between sessions. This sustained benefit means that while HBOT may require multiple visits. Keep in mind that your overall time commitment is justified by the long-lasting positive impact it can have on your health and well-being.


12. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a safe, established, and reputable treatment option.

Despite the growing popularity of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, there are still some misconceptions surrounding its use, including the belief that HBOT is a new and experimental treatment. While it may seem new to some, this therapy has been in use for decades and has a substantial body of scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness. 


As we reviewed above, just make sure to source a medical grade chamber from a reputable practice with qualified medical professionals, state-of-the-art equipment, and a track record of success in treating your specific condition. 


Additionally, don't hesitate to ask questions and seek information about the facility's protocols, safety measures, and staff credentials. The more informed you are, the better equipped you will be to make an informed decision about your health and well-being.



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