In the modern world, there is a rising curiosity about Hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT. What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy? It is a treatment which involves breathing pure oxygen in a sealed and pressurized chamber. The next thing people want to know is how beneficial HBOT is. This article will explore all the HBOT benefits. Out of so many, only a certain number of benefits are approved by Food and Drug Administration or FDA. Let’s check them out.
FDA Approved HBOT Benefits
1. Air/Gas Embolism
The presence of air in the arteries causes air and gas embolism. Air embolism can puncture lungs. A pressure at 6 ATA, in general, helps a patient to deal with the situation exactly what one can get from HBOT.
2. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
When a person inhales the colorless carbon monoxide, he or she can get affected by carbon monoxide poisoning. HBOT is an effective treatment for CO poisoning. It replaces carbon monoxide with hemoglobin. During the session, patients wear a 100 percent oxygen mask (not-rebreather mask). It takes an active role in restoring cytochrome oxidase aa3/c and provides protection against lipid peroxidation as well.
3. Gas Gangrene
Gas gangrene or clostridial myositis is an infection of soft tissues (muscle tissue, for instance). HBOT reduces production of toxin. It also boosts the effects of antibiotics enhancing the resistance power of body against the harmful bacteria.
4. Crush Injury
Crush injury is a kind of traumatic ischemia (This is a condition in which blood supply becomes irregular, resulting in severe physical injuries). HBOT supplies oxygenated blood to injuries. It helps fight against the wound and reduces swelling. HBOT also decreases edema in the wounded areas.
5. Decompression Sickness
Decompression sickness can take place when dissolved gases come out of the bubble solution and affect any part of the body. HBOT reduces the size of the bubble and improves the gradients which accelerate the oxygen delivery.
6. Arterial Insufficiency
An arterial insufficiency is a group of complications, including central retinal artery occlusion or stroke of eyes, arterial insufficiency ulcer, and diabetic foot ulcer. HBOT provides oxygen tension in the wounded areas for neutrophils, leukocytes, and macrophages to work on immune functions; for osteoclasts to restructure the bone; for fibroblasts to lay down collagen. Apart from these, HBOT boosts the effectiveness of the antibiotics, influences the synthesis of the bacterial toxins.
7. Exceptional Blood Loss or Anemia
Anemia takes place due to the lack of the red blood cells. Deficiency of red blood cells and hemoglobin badly affects the capacity of carrying oxygen of the blood. HBOT supplies pure oxygen to the blood plasma in order to supply oxygen to the vital organs and the tissues.
8. Intracranial Abscess
An intracranial abscess is an amassing of pus and other similar objects within the skull. It can lead one to life-threatening situations (such as mild or severe neurologic symptoms, coma) depending on the position of the abscess. The bacteria, responsible for such abscess are anaerobic in most of the cases. It indicates that they can thrive in low-oxygen situations. HBOT stops bacteria from replicating, spreading the disease further, and demolishing the toxins.
9. Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections
Necrotizing soft tissue infection is bacterial in nature. It leads the affected cells to death. Like the intracranial abscess, HBOT combats the bacteria to save the cells and heals the damages by supplying oxygen.
Osteomyelitis is a kind of bone infection that can spread to the bone from the surrounding soft tissues. Generally, it is caused by several bacteria and fungi. HBOT deals with it in a way similar to infections discussed previously.
11. Delayed Radiation Injury
Radiation therapy has become an integral part for treating cancer. Sometimes, radiation therapy creates painful complications as side effects. This therapy often can become very much toxic in nature. People who are very sensitive can witness radiation damages due to this toxic nature. Delayed radiation injury healing is one of the so many HBOT benefits. HBOT improves the blood circulation, increases the stem cell activity, and reduces the scarring.
12. Skin Grafts and Flaps
A skin graft is a complex skin problem. Skin flap, on the other hand, affects deeper tissues, muscle, blood vessels, and bone. Both of these two situations require healthy oxygenation. We all know that the main function of HBOT is oxygenation.
13. Thermal Burn Injury
Due to excessive heat or fire, thermal burn injury can take place. Mouth, skin, throat, and lungs can get badly affected by a thermal burn injury. HBOT slows the process of skin and lung damage and demolishes swelling.
14. Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss is a nerve-related deafness which, in general, is described as a reduction in sound volume greater than 30 dB. The accurate reason behind this problem is unknown. HBOT increases the oxygen tension in the bloodstream and improves the entire procedure of oxygen supply by dissolving extra oxygen in the blood plasma.
Other HBOT Benefits
As HBOT increases the amount of oxygen in the blood, fluid, tissues, therefore, the patients who are affected by HIV/AIDS can be benefited by HBOT. It removes the virus in the bloodstream and heals the affected blood vessels. Though this indication is yet to be included in the list of FDA-approved HBOT benefits, many studies on this particular topic are raising a ray of hope.
This is a neurological disease that slowly demolishes brain cells. Alzheimer’s disease creates memory loss and behavioral problems. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can slow down the advancement of this disease. According to a study, Alzheimer is connected to poor blood flow in the brain. When the patients are going through the HBOT treatment, they are getting almost 2000% more oxygen in comparison to the normal range of 21% at the sea level. In such a condition, the tissues and fluids get saturated with oxygen and it helps the oxygen reach to the problematic areas of the brain.
Asthma is a kind of allergy. HBOT has a number of psychological effects which are really effective in the treatment of asthma and allergies. HBOT reduces inflammation and swelling. Apart from this, it improves the initial stage of hypoxia. Several studies have recorded that HBOT efficiently decreases the magnitude of the allergic response.
HBOT helps angiogenesis ( formation of new blood cell), neurogenesis (growth of the new nerves in the brain, and oxygenation. Oxygen is the element that helps a tissue repair itself in the face of a severe damage. HBOT has been appreciated for treating neurological complexities like cerebral palsy and stroke as well.
The list does not end here. It also includes depression, heart disease, hepatitis, migraine, sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.
A Final Takeaway
In the modern world, HBOT has occupied a place of extreme importance in the medical science. Still, scientists are working on other indications of HBOT. Hopefully, it is anticipated that we are going to enjoy more HBOT benefits in future.
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