Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Risk & Benefits

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Risks & Benefits
Oxygen plays a vital role in not only keeping you alive but also in  helping your body heal when it has been infected or injured. In some cases, having access to extra oxygen can give your body the boost it needs to speed up the healing process and restore its overall health. Fortunately, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can do just that. Here's what you should know about the risks and benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy before scheduling your complimentary consultation with the trusted team at the Vascular Institute of the Rockies.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a type of treatment that involves a person lying in a special chamber with air pressure that is up to three times higher than normal air pressure. By breathing in this air that has a higher concentration of oxygen, the person's blood can fill up with oxygen more easily, which can help restore normal bodily functions and restore damaged tissues in some cases. 

What is It Used For?
Your body cannot function without oxygen. When your body becomes infected or injured, it needs more oxygen than normal to heal. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can assist your body in taking in more oxygen and speeding up its healing process. This type of treatment has been proven to restore normal oxygen levels in damaged tissues with repeated treatments, even after the procedure is complete. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including:
  • Wounds with delayed healing
  • Gangrene
  • Arterial gas embolism
  • Decompression sickness
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Crush injuries
What Are the Risks Associated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is considered safe for most people. While side effects are rare, there are some risks associated with this treatment. These include:
  • Lung collapse due to changes in the air pressure
  • Middle ear problems, such as rupturing of an ear drum, due to changes in the air pressure
  • Seizures caused by too much oxygen in your central nervous system
  • Temporary nearsightedness due to temporary changes in your eye lens
  • Low blood sugar, particularly in individuals who have diabetes and take insulin
Because of these risks, hyperbaric oxygen therapy may not be an option for people who have lung disease or have recently experienced an ear injury or surgery.

What Are the Potential Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is preferred by medical professionals and patients alike thanks to the many benefits it can provide. Some of these include:
  • Improving blood circulation
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Healing injuries and wounds
  • Decreasing muscle aches
  • Boosting immune system
What to Expect During Treatment
Undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy is simple, non-invasive, and virtually painless. During your hyperbaric oxygen treatment, you will lie down on a table inside of a clear plastic chamber. The chamber will be filled with 100% oxygen and the surrounding air pressure will be increased, causing your ears to feel full. Depending on your unique needs, you can expect your treatment to last anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. During this time, you will be closely monitored by your healthcare provider. When your treatment is complete, it is important to drink plenty of fluids. Multiple treatments may be required to achieve the desired results.

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
If you are interested in speeding up the healing process of a serious injury or think that hyperbaric oxygen therapy could benefit you, the Vascular Institute of the Rockies is here to help. Our experienced team can help determine if you are a good candidate for hyperbaric oxygen therapy and help you take the first step to live a healthier, happier life. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!
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