Once inside the chamber, a transparent plastic hood is put over your head. You’ll hear machinery running, and you might feel pressure in your ears like when a plane rises or descends.

Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

This pressure increases the oxygen in your blood plasma, encouraging new tissue growth that can heal damaged tissues. HBOT helps heal wounds, burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other conditions.


In the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, the air is pressurized up to twice as much as usual. It allows your lungs to gather more oxygen and encourages the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that involves inhaling pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The increased atmospheric pressure in the chamber allows more oxygen to dissolve into the bloodstream, potentially delivering numerous health benefits to various body parts.

HBOT helps fight infections and stimulates wound-healing mechanisms in many diseases and conditions. It also prevents air bubbles from forming in blood vessels, a condition known as arterial gas embolism. It may be used to treat chronic wounds that do not heal, such as diabetic foot ulcers, stubborn bone infections (osteomyelitis), and tissue damage from radiation injury or burns.

It also treats decompression sickness, a potentially deadly illness experienced by divers. HBOT increases the dissolved oxygen in the plasma, decreases the unbound carbon monoxide, and enhances several immune system functions, including killing bacteria, destroying anaerobic organisms, and improving the effectiveness of antibiotics. Patients lie comfortably in multiple chambers and breathe pure oxygen through masks or hoods. An attendant is present to monitor and address patient needs throughout treatment sessions, which average about 90-120 minutes each. Most patients begin with 20 treatments, though the number of visits varies depending on the medical issue.

Side Effects

In rare cases, oxygen poisoning can occur when the lungs absorb too much oxygen in a hyperbaric chamber. It can result in the accumulation of fluid in the lungs, which could lead to lung failure or seizures. People with a history of epilepsy, low blood sugar, or some types of medical implant devices (such as pacemakers) should not use hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Some people experience a temporary change in vision that returns to normal after treatment ends. Others may experience fatigue or a feeling of weakness after each treatment session. It can be reduced with good nutrition and rest between treatments.

Some people who have claustrophobia or are fearful of small spaces find it hard to relax in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. However, newer units are designed with clear acrylic, allowing you to see everything around you. Some treatment centers have multiple chambers to treat multiple patients at a time. Removing any clothing, hair, or other items that could ignite in the pure oxygen environment is essential.


During HBOT, you lie down in a large tube or room called a hyperbaric chamber. It’s sealed and filled with pure oxygen, and the pressure inside is raised to three times normal atmospheric levels.

It allows your lungs to collect more oxygen and send it throughout the body. It helps injured tissues survive by promoting the growth of new blood vessels to bring in more oxygen and nutrients.

The treatment is very safe and well tolerated. Side effects are mild and short-lived. During a session, you might feel pressure in your ears (similar to when you dive and ascend or descend on a plane). You may also experience crackling of the sinuses or lungs caused by trapped air. It’s important to tell your doctor if you have any medical implants or devices, like pacemakers, that might be affected by the increased pressure. And if you’re claustrophobic, your healthcare provider can give you medication to ease anxiety before entering the chamber.


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing 100% pure oxygen at a higher pressure than usual. It can speed up healing for conditions like carbon monoxide poisoning, gangrene, and nonhealing wounds. This treatment is typically covered by health insurance, including medicare and medicaid.

You can receive HBOT in a chamber built for one person (monoplane) or rooms that accommodate multiple people at once, called multiple. After you slip into the chamber, it’s slowly pressurized with pure oxygen. Your ears may feel plugged as the pressure changes, like flying in an airplane or traveling through mountains. You can relieve this feeling by yawning or swallowing water.

You can relax, read, sleep, or watch TV during the two-hour session. Your healthcare team will monitor you. You can’t bring any items that generate heat or ignite, such as cigarettes, into the HBOT chamber for your safety. You also need to remove any hair or skin products that are petroleum-based.