Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a therapy that uses a special chamber to administer pure oxygen with a pressure that is two to three times higher than normal. This allows the lungs to pick up to three times more oxygen than under normal pressure. According to studies, this therapy helps speed up healing of wounds since it allows the blood to carry more oxygen throughout the body. Oxygen is needed by tissues to function properly and to heal and survive.
Different medical institutions already use hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat a wide variety of conditions. Mayoclinic and Medline Plus list some cases where it's used:
- air or gas embolism (bubbles of air in your blood)
- decompression sickness
- gas gangrene
- a wound that won't heal
- skin or bone infection
- severe anemia
- crushing injury
- radiation injuries or necrosis (tissue death)
- carbon monoxide poisoning
To help you understand hyperbaric oxygen therapy better, here is an infographic as an example:
Radiation necrosis (cell death), as used in the infographic above, occurs when higher doses of radiation is used to treat aggressive tumors. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be used in cases like this to hasten healing of tissues.
It is generally a safe procedure but you may feel lightheaded following treatment that fades away after few minutes. For optimal results, this treatment is used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan which is based on each person's needs. For a more detailed explanation, it would be best to consult your doctor. :)