Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy FAQ'S
- You can go into the chamber in your own clothes. It is a good idea to wear comfortable clothes. You need to leave all phones and electronic equipment outside the chamber. You will need to remove watches and empty your pockets. Blankets are provided for your comfort.
- Always keep appointments. Regular, consistent participation in therapy will help you the most.
- Avoid coffee for 4 hours before treatment – caffeine reduces the blood flow to the brain by 40% for 4 hours.
- If you smoke, consider stopping or at least cutting back. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen needed for healing your wounds. All the benefits of HBOT will be increased if you quit.
- Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of rest will enhance your body’s ability to heal.
Clients are advised to avoid alcohol, carbonated drinks and coffee for four hours prior to a treatment. In most cases, patients should give up smoking and any other tobacco products during their treatment period, as they interfere with the body’s ability to transport oxygen.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is performed by a hyperbaric expert. Although there are minor risks like all medical treatments, overall hyperbaric oxygen therapy is extremely safe. The risks will be discussed with you before you sign your consent form for therapy.
Hyperbaric chambers are equipped with a two-way speaker, which also includes a phone handset for the operator to have private conversations with the client during the session.
Before your first treatment you will need to have a consultation with our Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Practitioner. This is to ensure we understand your needs and discuss the correct hyperbaric therapy plan for you based on your symptoms. For all sessions, please ensure you let us know the following:
- If you have any cold or flu symptoms, fever, sinus or nasal congestion, or chest congestion.
- If there is a possibility that you may be pregnant.
- If there has been a change in any of your medications.
- If you have skipped a meal prior to your HBO treatment.
- If you are diabetic and did not take your insulin prior to your treatment.
- If you have any concerns or anxiety.
- If you suffer from claustrophobia.
It is not advised to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy if you are pregnant.
Yes, children can safely undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy. A parent/carer/guardian can go into the chamber with younger children. There are many reports of children experiencing benefits from brain-injuries, learning and developmental delays, autism and genetic disorders.
Yes, HBOT is great for those in their later years. It is promotes anti-aging and enhances wellbeing. People have experienced benefits with diabetic neuropathy, dementia, alzheimer’s and overall energy and healing.
At sea level, normal atmosphere is 1 atmosphere (ATA). During HBOT the pressure in the chamber can be increased up to two times the normal atmospheric pressure. We use pressures of between 1.5 – 2.0 ATA, which is about the same pressure as being between 5 and 10 metres underwater.
Patients generally feel calm and relaxed and enjoy the experience.
- Once you are lying inside the chamber with your mask on, the door will be closed. Air is blown into the chamber to increase the pressure. The chamber may feel warmer.
- You may need to clear your ears as soon as the pressure begins to increase. You will be shown how to do this. Clearing your ears helps to balance the pressure in them and prevent any pain in your eardrum.
When the pressure reaches the correct level, the treatment phase begins. Air is added and removed from the chamber during this phase. During the treatment you will be able to relax, sleep or read.
The length of each treatment depends on what you are being treated for. It can last from 60 to 90 minutes at a time.
Near the end of the treatment, the pressure in the chamber is slowly lowered. You will hear the air leaving the chamber. You may feel popping in your ears during this time. As the chamber decompresses it may begin to feel cooler. Once the pressure has reached room pressure, the door will be opened and you can leave the chamber.
- The most common side effect is barotrauma to the ears and sinuses, similar to that commonly experienced when descending in an aeroplane, caused by the change in pressure. You can reduce the risk of experiencing barotrauma by using techniques such as popping your ears and swallowing. The hyperbaric chambers are pressurised gradually, giving your ears and sinuses time to acclimatise to the changed atmospheric pressure.
- Occasionally some patients may experience changes in their vision during their treatment period. These changes are usually minor and temporary.
- A rare side effect is oxygen toxicity which is caused by administering too much oxygen.
Just like any medication or procedure, yes, and this is known as “oxygen toxicity”, (which can affect the central nervous system and/or the lungs). The main 2 variables leading to oxygen toxicity are ‘pressure’ and ‘time’. If the pressure is kept at 2.0 ATA or below and the time is kept to 60 – 90 minutes, then the risk of oxygen toxicity is extremely low.
A hyperbaric therapy plan is based on your diagnosis or condition. The number of sessions required varies according to each patient’s individual requirements, which will be discussed during your initial consultation with our hyperbaric expert. Some conditions need 2-5 sessions whereas many other conditions require 20-40 sessions or more depending on the individual’s condition.
Every person is different and some will see immediate benefits and others may not notice them at all until completion of their series of hyperbaric sessions. In terms of the ’40 hour protocol’, it is not uncommon for the majority of the benefits to be reported up to 4 weeks following its completion!
No, because the combination of breathing oxygen and pressure is key to the effectiveness of the treatment. The increased pressure increases the concentration of oxygen dissolved in the plasma, which carries the oxygen to deeper areas of the body. Breathing oxygen through a mask will only deliver higher oxygen concentrations. Therefore, it cannot deliver the same effects as you can experience through hyperbaric oxygen therapy — only HBOT will be able to force significantly more oxygen into your blood plasma!