Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Are You Suffering From Diabetic Wounds That Doesn’t Seem To Heal? Has Your Child Been Diagnosed With Autism?
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) provides you with 100% oxygen (unlike the 21% oxygen found in the air we breathe) in a chamber or compartment with increased pressure.
By inhaling 100% oxygen at an elevated pressure (2 to 3 times than normal), 20 times more oxygen can be transported in the blood and delivered to injured organs and tissue, leading to accelerated healing along with other beneficial effects.
What Conditions Can Benefit from HBO Therapy?
Originally, HBO therapy was intended to assist diver who develops decompression sickness from surfacing too quickly. HBO therapy is still the treatment for decompression sickness. However, its beneficial effects on other conditions have been discovered. These conditions include:
- Diabetic foot and leg wounds – the extra oxygen supports the growth of new blood vessels that replace those damaged by radiation injury, soft tissue damage, diabetic ulcers, and chronic non-healing wounds.
- Carbon monoxide/cyanide poisoning – the extra amounts of oxygen and the elevated pressure force the toxic gasses out of the blood. The speedy removal of the toxins from the blood prevents neurological disorders caused by toxicity.
- Infections – Bacteria present in wounds and bone can easily be killed by the body’s immune system that has been heightened by an increased oxygen concentration in the blood.
- Other conditions: Our center offers HBO therapy for conditions outside the widely accepted uses. We manage patients with autism, cerebral palsy and Lyme disease, among others. Athletes trying to speed recovery from injuries are also treated.
How Will I Feel During HBO Therapy?
HBO therapy is normally pain-free. In a relaxed manner, you will be lying in a glass covered chamber (several minutes to a couple of hours).
At the beginning and end of the treatment, you will notice a sense of fullness in your ears as the pressure is increased. This feeling is comparable to that which is felt while flying in an airplane or diving underwater.
Our staff will teach you a simple technique to relieve ear pressure and avoid any uneasiness.
A few patients may feel light-headed after the therapy that could last a few minutes.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
You may need to have multiple treatments. The number is determined by your particular condition and response to HBO therapy.
Usually, emergency conditions require 1 to 2 treatments in the first week. Long-standing infections and wounds might require 20 – 60 treatments throughout several weeks.
Why So Many Treatments?
The effects of oxygen on tissue regeneration and blood vessel growth are gradual. Clinical studies of blood vessel growth in cancer patients have shown that radiation-treated tissue may have lost 70% of blood vessels. By using HBO on a daily basis, doctors have discovered that new, microscopic blood vessels begin to grow after 6 to 8 treatments.
The most growth takes place between treatments 18 – 23, at the time when the number of blood vessels grows to 80% of normal tissue.
For several patients, it’s like they never had radiation. For diabetic patients, HBO treatment generally minimizes the need for lower extremity amputation.
Increase Your Chances of Healing
Like with most medical treatment, good nutrition wound care and general health upkeep help attain complete healing.
Uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension offset the effects of HBO therapy, delaying the growth of new blood vessels. Cigarette smoking also reduces the effectiveness of HBO therapy by decreasing the amount of oxygen reaching the body tissues.
Getting every scheduled HBO therapy matters, however, the patient’s current health condition may not support adequate treatment. A patient with the following conditions should consult with one of our staff before receiving treatment.
- Head congestion
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Autism
The moment a normal child concentrates on an activity or delivers speech, the brain is performing extra work and there is an increase in blood flow to the brain which allows delivery of more oxygen and glucose, supplying the brain cells their required energy to perform their task.
A number of studies have shown that the opposite happens in autistic children. These children have a decreased blood flow to start with, so when their brain is attempting to execute a task, like generating speech or focusing, their blood flow does not increase providing brain cells the needed oxygen and glucose.
This evidence of damage is a result of impaired oxygen delivery resulting from hypoperfusion.
Brain hypoperfusion is simply decreased blood flow to the brain. There are several studies in the medical literature demonstrating hypoperfusion in autistic children. Studies have also shown that the hypoperfusion generally worsened with the age of the child, getting more profound in older children. The diminished blood flow can be viewed with a clear connection to several core autistic symptoms (behavior).