Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an established medical procedure that entails breathing 100% pure oxygen under high pressure in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. This allows rich deposits of oxygen to be absorbed and dissolved in the bloodstream and carried throughout the body to promote healing at a fast rate.
The procedure has been shown to stimulate blood vessel growth and flow, reduce swelling and inflammation, and accelerate healing by elevating the body’s natural immune system. Because it supports and enriches the body’s literal lifeblood, this treatment is effective for a wide variety of conditions. We’ve already covered some of the most common conditions for HBOT treatment and the many benefits HBOT offers, but below we’ve compiled a near-comprehensive list of all the conditions hyperbaric oxygen therapy can treat effectively:
The following includes all of the conditions for which the FDA has reviewed and approved the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as treatment:
- Air or gas embolism: bubbles of air or gas in the bloodstream. If these bubbles travel to the heart, brain, or lungs, they may cause a heart attack, a stroke, or respiratory failure.
- Acute arterial insufficiency: a condition in which the flow of blood through the arteries is slowed or stopped.
- Acute traumatic peripheral ischemia: a condition of inadequate blood flow to organs and body tissues as a result of severe physical injury. Often caused by crush injuries.
- Actinomycosis: a rare bacterial infection that produces large painful abscesses throughout the body.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning: occurs when carbon monoxide builds up in the bloodstream. Can cause flu-like symptoms and death if untreated.
- Crush injuries: injuries resulting from great pressure or force, “crushing” the body. Often damages blood vessels and creates imbalances in blood pressure and flow within the body.
- Cyanide poisoning: occurs after exposure to a number of forms of cyanide. Early symptoms are flu-like and escalate to seizures, slowed heart rate, and cardiac arrest.
- Decompression sickness: also known as “the bends,” this results from inadequate decompression after exposing the body to increased pressure, like a diver surfacing too fast. This can create small bubbles of gas in the bloodstream.
- Diabetic wound care (of the lower extremities): slow-healing wounds as a result of diabetes and inadequate circulation to the affected area.
- Gas gangrene: rapidly spreading gangrene in wounds infected by gas-producing bacteria.
- Mandibular osteoradionecrosis: bone death in the lower jaw due to radiation.
- Necrotizing soft-tissue infection: a rare but serious bacterial infection that destroys muscle, skin, and underlying tissue. Also known as “flesh-eating disease.”
- Refractory osteomyelitis: a persistent infection of the bone.
- Soft tissue radionecrosis: the death of soft tissue after exposure to ionizing radiation.
- Skin grafts: transplanted sections of skin, usually used to treat severe burns.
- Thermal burns: burns resulting from touching heated objects like boiling water, steam, cooking oil, or fire.
The following list includes all of the conditions for which treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, though not yet FDA approved, is medically supported by research and testing:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) (early stages only): a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
- Autism (Spectrum diagnosis): a range of conditions characterized by repetitive behaviors and challenges with communication and social skills.
- Autoimmune disorders: a range of disorders that cause abnormally low immune system activity.
- Bell’s Palsy: a condition in which the muscles on one side of the face are weak or paralyzed.
- Cerebral palsy: a neurological disorder affecting motor skills, movements, and muscle tone. The most common motor/movement disability.
- Chemical toxicity: can damage susceptible sites or cells in the human body when exposed to a variety of toxic chemicals.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome: a disorder characterized by extreme and unexplained chronic fatigue or tiredness. Also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID).
- Crohn’s disease: an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and malnutrition.
- Fibromyalgia: a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and issues with fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood.
- General wellness: keeping the body healthy and preventing disease.
- Glaucoma: a group of conditions characterized by damage to the nerve connecting the eye and the brain, often caused by high eye pressure. Can cause blindness.
- Herpes Zoster: also known as shingles. This is an infection resulting from the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus and causes painful rashes and blisters.
- Lyme disease: illness caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, usually transmitted to humans via deer ticks. Causes flu-like symptoms and a bullseye-shaped rash.
- Macular degeneration: also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD), this condition is characterized by blurring or blindness in the center of the visual field due to damage in the retina.
- Migraines/headaches: pain across the head, sometimes accompanied by nausea and increased sensitivity to light and sound.
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS): a disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves. Disrupts communication between the brain and body and can cause a number of symptoms, including pain, fatigue, loss of coordination, and vision loss.
- Near Drowning: almost dying from suffocation under water.
- Pre and Post-Surgical Healing (Elective Cosmetic Surgery): healing after elective cosmetic surgical procedures.
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RMD): a disorder that causes lasting pain (usually in an arm or leg) after injury, stroke, or heart attack. Typically the pain from RMD is more severe than the pain of the original injury itself.
- Seizure Disorder: any disorder characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. Epilepsy is the most common seizure disorder.
- Skin Flaps: healthy skin/tissue (often still connected to a blood vessel) that is partially detached and has moved to cover a nearby wound.
- Spinal Cord Injury: damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves.
- Sports Injuries: injuries resulting from sports.
- Stem Cell Recovery Treatment: recovery from invasive stem cell treatments.
- Stroke: damage to the brain resulting from interruption to its blood supply.
- Tinnitus: the perception of noise or ringing in the ears resulting from damage to the ear.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: brain dysfunction caused by an outside force like a violent blow to the head. Common after severe sports injuries or car accidents.
- Trigeminal neuralgia: disorder caused by chronic pain in the trigeminal nerve in the face.
- Vascular Dementia: brain damage caused by multiple strokes. Often creates issues with reasoning, judgment, planning, and memory.
If you have any questions about hyperbaric oxygen therapy or want to find out more about what it can do for you, then give Sun Medical Center a call today. We serve the Fort Lauderdale area and strive to ensure that our patients are always well-informed and receive the best possible care. Contact us now!