Among the popular non-invasive therapies used to heal various health problems, `oxygen therapy is gaining much admiration these days. It is a procedure that involves inhaling the purest form of oxygen in a pressured environment. The air pressure inside the therapy unit is two to three times more than the usual air pressure. This allows your lungs to breathe a more pure form of oxygen which eventually reaches every part of your body through the bloodstream. When the blood carries pure oxygen all around the body, it stimulates the release of growth factors and stem cells, promoting healing. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment used to heal and cure various conditions like decompression sickness, infections, wounds, and much more.
Why do people undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
The body cells and tissues require an adequate amount of oxygen to function properly and fight any potentially harmful viruses. In case of injury or infection, the tissues need additional oxygen to survive and eventually heal. With multiple treatments/sittings, the wounds of infections start healing when the cells receive enough oxygen to repair themselves. There are several medical conditions that can be treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, including:
- Air bubbles formed in the blood vessels
- Chronic anemia
- Skin burns
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Brain abscess
- Crushing injury
- Decompression sickness
- Skin or bone infections causing tissue death
- Skin graft
- Brain injury
- Non-healing wounds due to diabetes
- Sudden loss of vision
How to prepare for the procedure?
When you reach the clinic or hospital for the procedure, you will be provided with a hospital-approved gown to wear for the procedure. You will also be asked to keep aside all the lighters or battery-powered devices that are inflammable or generate heat. Further, the assistant at the clinic will also ask you to remove hair and skin care products that are petroleum-based or not wear them in the first place. After that, they will walk you through the important instructions on preparing you to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
What can you expect during the therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy uses an oxygen chamber with increased air pressure to perform the treatment. The patients have to lie down comfortably in the chamber to receive oxygen through a mask over their face or a hood placed over their head. During the procedure, the air pressure is increased to two to three times the usual pressure. The patient’s ears may feel temporarily full, similar to the feeling in an airplane or at a high elevation. However, the feeling will go away after a while when the procedure is completed. Depending on the conditions you are suffering from, the health caregiver will then decide the tenure for which you will stay inside the chamber and the number of sitting it will take to heal completely.
The potential side effects that you may feel after therapy include nausea, fatigue, and other mild symptoms which do not limit your day-to-day activities. After getting properly monitored by the health care team, you will be allowed to get dressed and leave. It is always advisable to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the UK with the expert guidance of professionals for desired results.