Frequently Asked Questions

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that enhances the body’s natural healing processes. The combination of increased atmospheric pressure and increased percentage of oxygen by breathing in 100% of oxygen in a total encapsulated chamber treats a wide variety of medical conditions. Increasing the oxygen content under pressure allows the reduction of swelling and edema, enhances blood vessel growth, and enables white blood cells to have enhanced killing of bacteria which results in a lower infection rate.

What are the benefits of HBOT?

Healing cannot take place without appropriate oxygen levels in the tissue and cells. Many illnesses and injuries fail to heal because of inadequate oxygen levels. Increased oxygen under pressure (HBOT) provides this extra oxygen to tissue and cells with minimal side effects.

What does HBOT treat?

Around the world HBOT is used for many purposes. Unfortunately we are stuck with what medicare deems necessary so they do not offer to cover all of what HBOT is useful for according to the studies.

Non-Medicare Covered Treatments:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Stroke
  • Sports Injuries
  • Near drowning victims
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Huntington's Disease
  • Autism
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Lyme Disease
  • Migraines
  • Pre and Post Surgery
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Total Joint Replacement
  • Nervous pathology
  • Leprosy

Medicare Covered Treatments:

  • Anemia or Blood Loss
  • Air or Gas Embolism
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  • Compartment Syndrome
  • Crush Injury
  • Decompression Sickness (Bends)
  • Diabetic Ulcers
  • Gas Gangrene
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Intracranial Abscess
  • Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infection
  • Radiation Tissue Damage
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Thermal Burns
  • Traumatic Ischemia

Preparation for treatment:

We provide cotton clothing for the patient to wear during treatment as we cannot have any other type of material inside the chamber due to the risk of static electricity. Perfume, hair products, jewelry, synthetic material, wigs, cosmetics, deodorant, gels, ointments, patches, or drugs are not permitted inside the chamber. There will be a full questionnaire that needs to be filled out accurately to make sure that proper treatment is provided. Patients are advised not to take alcohol or carbonated drinks 4 hours prior to treatment. The use of tobacco products including smoking is strongly recommended to stop during the treatments as there can be adverse effects and they do not allow the body to transport oxygen as effectively.

Are there side effects?

Barotrauma which involves the inner ear and sinuses can result in the change in pressure. To combat this we strongly urge the patient to clear their ears during the dive and to allow the tech to know of any changes or pain occurred. While very rare, included in barotrauma is the possibility of a collapsed lung. If you have ever experienced barotrauma in the past, it is strongly urged to discuss this with your HBOT tech to determine the best course of action. In the event that the patient cannot stand the pressure on the inner ear drum, we can halt treatment until tubes are placed to equalize pressure. Oxygen toxicity, while extremely uncommon with our rate of treatments, could occur. Anxiety or claustrophobia is something to consider when seeking treatment. While our chambers are clear to see outside of them, some patients are not comfortable with being inside a chamber. We can take time to acclimate a person to the chamber, but sometimes this experience is not for everyone and that is ok. Hypoglycemia can occur, and we test every patient before the dive to ensure a minimum of 120mg/dl of blood sugar to prevent hypoglycemia. Vision changes may occur and your sight may improve. DO NOT throw away your glasses or contact lenses as these changes are temporary and will resolve in 6-8 weeks for most cases. If you are at risk for a developing cataract, you will want to consider having the cataract surgery before seeking HBOT treatment. HBOT does not create cataracts, however it can increase the rate that current cataracts can develop.