What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (hbot)?

HBOT is a method of delivering oxygen at a greater pressure. The higher chamber pressure enables the inspired (100%) oxygen to dissolve in your body, meaning there is more oxygen in your blood which enables your body to heal and recover faster.

How long does each treatment last?

Treatments last a minimum of 60 minutes.

Pressurizing the chamber takes 10-15 minutes (up to 25 min.). At the treatment depth you will receive a timed 60* minutes of oxygen, after which we depressurize (for 10-12 minutes). Allow up to 2-hours for each treatment session.

* treatment time may vary depending on your condition.

Is HBOT safe?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is prescribed by a physician and performed by trained technicians in a clinic environment.

Although there are minor risks like all medical treatments, overall hyperbaric oxygen therapy is extremely safe.

The risks will be discussed with you before you sign your consent form for therapy.

How does the air in the chamber stay fresh?

The chamber is pressurized with filtered outdoor air and is ventilated continuously.

Are there any side effects to HBOT?

Some patients may notice vision changes if they undergo long-term treatments. Visual acuity will return to its pre-treatment condition with 3 or 4 months after your treatments end. If you have cataracts there is a chance they could worsen.

What information does the technician need to know from the patient prior to HBOT?

They’ll need to know if:

  • you have any cold or flu symptoms, fever, sinus or nasal congestion, or chest congestion.
  • there is a possibility that you may be pregnant.
  • there has been a change in any of your medications.
  • you have skipped a meal prior to your HBO treatment.
  • you are diabetic and did not take your insulin prior to your treatment.
  • you have any concerns or anxiety.

What is the recommended treatment schedule?

Two treatments a day, with a 4-hour interval between the start of each session, is the norm.

The leading proponents of HBOT recommend a minimum of 20 treatments and preferably up to 40 in the initial schedule. After forty treatments, re-evaluate your condition for discernible benefits before proceeding.

The schedule you are assigned is your reservation.

Is it warm inside?

The air warms as it pressurizes and cools as it depressurizes. Ventilation keeps the air moving when it is warm and blankets are available if you become cold.

What about smoking and other odours?

Smoke and other odours on your clothes are accentuated within the confines of the pressurized chamber.

Try to minimize the detrimental effect of smoking on HBOT results by abstaining within 1-hour pre and post treatment. Do not use strong scented perfumes or deodorants.

Can the pressurization be dangerous?

As the chamber is being pressurized, air presses on your eardrums and pushes them inwards.

This will be painful unless you equalize your ears to be able to reach the treatment depth. Please, signal the attendant immediately if you have discomfort in your ears or sinuses. Don’t wait until it really hurts.

The operator will stop pressurizing and decrease the pressure until you equalize. When you’re comfortable they will resume pressurizing.

How do you equalize your ears?

Try to swallow; yawn or drink sips of water. Turn your head to one side and swallow, then turn to the other side and swallow. Repeat if necessary.

The Valsalva Manoeuvre – Pinch your nose closed, close your mouth and lift the front-tip of your tongue towards the roof of your mouth. Attempt to blow through your pinched nose (short and sharp) but not too forcefully. This directs air from your throat into your ears and sinus air spaces.

A third method combines these techniques: try swallowing and wiggling your jaw while blowing gently against your pinched nose. Now that’s coordination!

Can I use nasal decongestants?

If you have a history of problems with the ear when flying or traveling in the mountains you may wish to use nasal decongestants before the first few treatments.

With young children, tilt their head back and put one drop of paediatric (baby) nose drops in each nostril one and a half to two hours before HBOT. Wait 5-10 min. and then put a second drop in each nostril. Use Afrin or a similar nasal spray 20-30 minutes after the nose drops. Do not repeat the nasal spray.

What about pressure equalization tubes (P.E.T.)?

If you cannot equalize the pressure in your ears with any of the various manoeuvres or nasal decongestants, a physician can insert P.E.T. through your eardrums.

This relatively painless, outpatient procedure has few complications and the tubes can remain in place during the course of your treatment.

If you have P.E.T. inserted, you must not get water in your ears. Use earplugs or apply a little water-based gel (rather than petroleum jelly), to a small cotton ball and place it in your outer ear canal before washing or bathing.

How does hyperbaric oxygen help brain injury or stroke?

When cells in the brain die, either from trauma or lack of oxygen, blood plasma leaks out into surrounding brain tissue causing swelling and reducing blood flow.

These otherwise normal cells go dormant because they can’t function without the appropriate amount of oxygen.

HBOT dramatically increases the oxygen carried in the blood plasma, making oxygen available to heal damaged capillary walls, preventing plasma leakage and reducing swelling.

As the swelling decreases, blood flow can be restored to the dormant tissue (neovascularization) and these cells then have the potential to function again.

How does hyperbaric oxygen help a child with cerebral palsy (CP) or traumatic brain injury (TBI)?

In CP and TBI patients, some of the injured brain tissues may be “dormant” and non-functioning. HBOT can stimulate these “dormant” tissues and return them to more normal function.

In young children, cognitive function and spasticity can be improved.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, used in conjunction with other therapies, ensures the best recovery possible for children with cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury.

How do we book sessions of HBOT or Purchase or Rent?

Patients are accepted either by self referral or by physician referral. For all questions relating to experiencing HBOT please call us at 01403 740128.