What do Hyperbaric Chambers and Therapies involve?
HBOT can be done in single-person chambers or chambers that can hold more than a dozen people at a time. A single-person chamber, or monoplace, consists of a clear plastic tube about seven feet long. The patient lies on a padded table that slides into the tube.
The hyperbaric chamber is gradually pressurized with pure oxygen. Patients are asked to relax and breathe normally during treatment. Chamber pressures typically rise to 2.5 times the normal atmospheric pressure.
Patients may experience ear popping or mild discomfort, which usually disappears if the pressure is lowered a bit. At the end of the session, which can last from thirty minutes to two hours, technicians slowly depressurize the chamber.
After an HBOT session, patients often feel lightheaded and tired. Monoplace chambers cost less to operate than multiplace chambers and are relatively portable. Most health insurance policies cover medically approved uses of HBOT. Recently, Medicare and Medicaid have begun to cover them as well.