Frequently Asked Questions
Hyperbaric, “hyper” meaning high, “baric” meaning pressure, Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is an alternative form of medicine that delivers high-pressure oxygen to individuals enclosed in a hyperbaric chamber.
While there are many benefits to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, there are currently 14 conditions that the FDA has approved treatment through the use of HBOT.
Here is the approved list:
- Air or gas embolism
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Clostridal myositis and myonecrosis (gas gangrene)
- Crush injury, compartment syndrome, and other acute traumatic ischemias
- Decompression sickness
- Enhancement of healing in selected wound problems, such as diabetically derived illness, such as diabetic foot ulcers, diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic nephropathy.
- Exceptional blood loss (anemia)
- Intracranial abscess
- Necrotizing soft tissue infections (necrotizing fasciitis)
- Osteomyelitis (refractory)
- Delayed radiation injury (soft tissue and bony necrosis)
- Skin grafts and flaps (compromised)
- Thermal burns
- Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss
HBOT uses a hyperbaric chamber to enclose individuals in a manipulated environment composed of 100% pure oxygen, at pressures greater than sea level. This manipulated environment can deliver as much as three times the concentration of oxygen than normally available at atmospheric pressure.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps patients find relief and/or resolution from aliments that cannot be treated effectively through traditional methods or medication. The core ideology behind exposing ourselves to 100% pure oxygen in a high-pressure environment is to encourage the body’s natural healing process. By saturating the blood and tissues with high concentrations of oxygen, harmful molecules and/or bacteria will be displaced. Therefore, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can deliver the high oxygen levels your body may need to recover from conditions that may not otherwise heal due to insufficient oxygen.
Infections typically house themselves in areas where anaerobic (low oxygen) bacteria are thriving. When a high concentration of oxygen is introduced into the blood, anaerobic bacteria begin to die off. Additionally, the excess oxygen stimulates the growth of more white blood cells, which aid in the digestion of bacteria and fungi. Therefore, HBOT is a natural and effective method to fight off infections.
Hemoglobin is the molecule in blood that is responsible for transporting oxygen through the bloodstream and throughout the body. Hemoglobin has a high affinity for oxygen, however, its affinity for carbon monoxide is much greater. Therefore, when oxygen and carbon monoxide are both present in the room, carbon monoxide will bind to the hemoglobin, which halts oxygen delivery and ultimately causes suffocation. The only way to out compete carbon monoxide for hemoglobin binding spots is to oversaturate the body with oxygen. When exposed to an environment filled with 100% oxygen, carbon monoxide and other harmful gases will literally be forced out of the body and remove the chance for consequent damage.
At Aalto Hyperbaric, we ensure our treatments are safe, painless, and non-invasive. Since you are exposed to increased pressure, you may feel slight fullness in your ears, similar to what you feel when an airplane takes off. Nevertheless, our technicians are by your side throughout the treatment and will offer you a variety of techniques to eliminate any possible discomfort.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is extremely safe. Like many medical procedures, there are minor risks associated with HBOT. Our technicians will cover all the possible risks before your treatment. The most common side effect associated with the hyperbaric chambers, is pressure felt within the ears. However, once the treatment is over, the pressure in the ears will equalize again and any discomfort will subside.
While you are receiving HBOT, you will be supervised by one of our medical staff throughout the duration of the treatment. In order to ensure safety at Aalto Hyperbaric, we make sure all of our chambers meet or exceed the FDA guidelines governing hyperbaric chamber manufacturing and installation.
Patients can be referred by a physician or refer themselves. If you choose to receive HBOT at Aalto Hyperbaric, our medical director will evaluate your needs and create a personalized treatment plan for you.
A single treatment session will usually last anywhere from 60-90 minutes. Treatment times depend on a variety of factors, including: your condition(s), your prescription(s), and our recommendations.
The number and duration of treatments depend on your indications and personal health goals. For acute conditions, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, we recommend 1-2 sessions. Chronic conditions, on the other hand, may require anywhere from 30 to 90 sessions.