With the growing prevalence of several infections, wounds, gas embolisms, carbon monoxide poisoning, burns, and injuries, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is becoming a more popular and favorable treatment throughout the world.
A large number of people believe HBOT therapy can boost the efficacy of their conventional medical treatment. However, some people doubt the effectiveness of this therapy. There are also some false beliefs related to HBOT therapy, which prevent patients from experiencing its therapeutic benefits.
Our mission is to educate people about the potency of HBOT by dispelling false beliefs. In the section below, we’ll discuss some common myths about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy that may mislead the patients.
Unraveling Some Common Myths about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
We’ve shortlisted the seven most common misconceptions about HBOT therapy. Let’s read and be aware of those misbeliefs.
1. There are No Proven Results of HBOT
A lot of research has been conducted on HBOT therapy, and many of them have shown positive results.
For example, studies by ClinicalTrial.govt exhibit HBOT as a potentially effective treatment for COVID-19. In a survey by the Autism Research Institute, 65% of parents have reported a visible improvement in their children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) after undergoing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
Evidence, including research by the Department of Neurology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the Department of Anesthesiology at Duke University Medical Center, shows HBOT is a proven treatment for wounds, anemia, decompression sickness, carbon monoxide poisoning, etc.
2. HBOT Therapy is Only for Scuba Divers
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is an effective treatment for decompression sickness of scuba divers. However, if one thinks the therapy is only for scuba divers, they may be unaware of its potential.
Besides treating decompression sickness, HBOT therapy can treat:
- Air or gas embolism
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Skin grafts
- Necrotizing soft tissue infections
- Thermal burns
- Brain and sinus infections
- Arterial insufficiency
- Gas gangrene
- Acute Traumatic Ischemia (ATI)
- Radiation Injuries
3. HBOT Therapy Has Harmful Side Effects
HBOT is considered a safe and low-risk therapy. However, in some cases, the therapy may have minor side effects, like temporary myopia, injuries in the ears and lungs, etc.
Sometimes, a patient may feel pressure in their ears. Although, this pressure is similar to what an individual feels while diving into the water.
The effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy depend on the individual’s health condition. For example, this therapy is not appropriate for people with lung diseases since it might have some negative effects on them. Also, people suffering from a cold or recovering from a recent ear surgery should avoid the therapy.
In some cases, health experts advise against smoking or drinking alcohol before or during the therapy to avoid any negative side effects.
4. HBOT Therapy is Painful
There is nothing significant that may cause pain under HBOT therapy.
Inside a hyperbaric chamber, a patient just needs to lie or sit comfortably and breathe pure oxygen. There, the air pressure is 2-3 times higher than the natural atmospheric pressure. Therefore, the treatment should not be painful at all.
However, for some individuals, the increased pressure may cause discomfort. In case one experiences extreme discomfort or pain, they should inform the healthcare expert monitoring the session.
5. HBOT Therapy is the Ultimate Treatment Solution
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been proven to treat various medical conditions, as stated above. However, one should not consider it the last resort treatment when other treatment methods fail.
It’s not obvious that one can cure their medical condition just by undergoing this therapy. Instead, HBOT therapy, along with conventional treatments, can make the treatment process faster and more effective.
6. HBOT Therapy is Expensive and Just a Celebrity Trend?
Most people have a misconception that HBOT therapy costs a fortune and only celebrities undergo this therapy. Some people think celebrities experience this therapy solely to rejuvenate their skin. There is a rumor also that Michael Jackson used to sleep inside a hyperbaric chamber to reverse his skin age.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy indeed helps revive human cells, but the therapy has many more treatment potentials. This is why a large number of people with multiple health issues undergo HBOT therapy these days.
HBOT treatment costs depend on the number of sessions one needs to undergo. In fact, rental hyperbaric oxygen chambers are also available, which are affordable and portable.
7. No Need for a Prescription to Undergo HBOT Therapy
Health experts prescribe oxygen to those who cannot maintain a normal level of blood oxygen saturation (which is 95% or more) while breathing atmospheric oxygen. When an individual’s body requires oxygen for medical purposes, it is considered a drug. According to the FDA, more than 95% of oxygen is medical-grade oxygen (or a drug).
A hyperbaric oxygen chamber supplies 100% unaltered oxygen, which acts as a drug treating multiple medical conditions. Therefore, before undergoing this treatment, one requires a physician’s prescription.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to medical treatment, people tend to find the best possible one. A lack of proper information about any therapy can prevent many patients from experiencing its benefits.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been proven effective in treating several health conditions. People should be aware of its potency as well as cautious about its side effects. However, one should consult a health expert and seek valuable advice before undergoing this therapy.