Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is an extremely popular adjunctive treatment solution that is being recommended by medical practitioners across the world, to provide relief for a range of health conditions.
Currently, the FDA has approved fourteen medical conditions that can be treated with HBOT. However, researchers claim to have conducted numerous clinical studies during the last decade, wherein HBOT has proved to be beneficial for countering medical conditions such as TBI, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, sports injuries and many other ailments.
How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Work?
Patients have to undergo a detailed evaluation of their infirmities by qualified hyperbaric experts prior to the commencement of HBOT treatment.
Thereafter, the patients are placed in pressurized compartments known as HBOT chambers and unadulterated oxygen is administered to them at enhanced pressure levels that can vary between 1.3 ATA to 5 ATA depending on the requirements of the individual.
The augmented pressure in the HBOT chamber aids in dissolving the pure oxygen into the body fluids of the patient, thereby boosting the supply of oxygen to all the damaged areas of their brain and the body. This process is known to encourage the proliferation of new blood cells, help in the regeneration of tissues, and accelerate the recovery process.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is considered to be a relatively safe treatment option with limited side effects and does not require overnight hospitalization. This treatment can be administered to people of all ages, but the procedure has to be conducted under the watchful guidance of a qualified physician.
How Does One Choose The Right Hyperbaric Chamber?
Patients can opt for hyperbaric oxygen therapy through two categories of HBOT chambers, which are:
- soft-side or mild hyperbaric chambers (mHBOT),
- or hard-side hyperbaric chambers (HBOT).
The soft or mild hyperbaric chambers can dispense pure oxygen at pressure levels that are slightly greater than regular atmospheric pressure at sea level. On the other hand, the pressure levels of oxygen can be scaled up to 6 ATA in a hard-side HBOT chamber.
A few technical aspects that need to be considered by a patient prior to choosing the right hyperbaric chamber are:
- The Design Of The HBOT Chamber:
The patients will have to choose between vertical or horizontal HBOT chambers depending on their comfort zone.
Patients who suffer from claustrophobia usually prefer vertical chambers wherein they can sit in an upright position during the HBOT therapy, as opposed to lying down in a horizontal chamber.
The Size Of The HBOT Chamber:
The size of a HBOT chamber is a feature that the patient must consider carefully before undertaking hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
The diameter, length, and overall circumference of the HBOT chamber have to be in line with the patient’s height and weight, as a majority of professional athletes tend to be bigger in body mass compared to the average population.
Selecting the ideal size when buying or renting a hyperbaric chamber will ensure that the patients are comfortable and at ease right through their HBOT therapy.
The Three Most Popular HBOT Chambers Are:
Monoplace HBOT Chambers:
Monoplace HBOT chambers are specifically designed for accommodating one person at a time.
In this option, the chamber is generally a compartment with a clear glass window through which the patient is monitored by a qualified technician, during the course of the HBOT session.
Multiplace HBOT Chambers:
These HBOT chambers are larger in size and can accommodate multiple individuals during a single session. The patients can undergo the treatment in either a seated position or stay reclined during the therapy.
The clinical staff can walk into these chambers and tend to the patients whilst performing the required procedure during the HBOT therapy.
Portable or Soft Hyperbaric Chambers:
Soft hyperbaric chambers are manufactured using canvas or polyurethane. These chambers are built to ensure easy portability and usage. Soft hyperbaric chambers are the preferred choice of top sports personalities around the world. The portable chambers can be transported to any location and assembled with ease in a short span of time.
However, soft HBOT chambers can provide only a limited amount of oxygen output, which approximately translates to 21% oxygen vis-à-vis the 100% oxygen that can be dispensed through monoplace or multiplace HBOT chambers. Hyperbaric treatment through portable HBOT chambers has to be conducted under the able guidance of a hyperbaric expert.
It is essential for every patient or caregiver to do a thorough research about the types of HBOT chambers that are available in the market before zeroing in on the most suitable unit to buy. The pricing, after-sales service, and maintenance are critical aspects that will ensure sustained performance through the years.
Consulting a distinguished hyperbaric specialist will also help in selecting the right clinic or medical facility for undergoing HBOT therapy in a productive manner. Knowing about the different types of HBOT chambers beforehand will provide a better perspective about the hyperbaric procedure.