Quick jargon buster:
ATA - Atmospheric Absolute, which in the case of 2 ATA, is twice the atmospheric pressure exerted at sea level.
Psi - pound per square inch
Microns - one-millionth of a metre and one-thousandth of a millimetre
Frequently asked questions about hyperbaric oxygen therapy
What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a treatment in which a person breathes 90-95% oxygen while inside a chamber that is pressurised to a level higher than normal atmospheric pressure. This increases the amount of oxygen in the person's blood, which can help with injury to illness, to ageing.
How is the treatment administered?
HBOT is typically administered in a hyperbaric chamber. The person will breathe 90-95% oxygen through a mask or hood while inside the chamber, which is gradually pressurised to the desired level. The treatment sessions typically last for one hour.
Are there any side effects of HBOT?
The most common side effects of HBOT include ear and sinus pain, and temporary changes in vision such as nearsightedness or mild haziness. These side effects are typically mild and can be treated with ear drops or other medications.
Can everyone receive HBOT?
HBOT may not be suitable for everyone, and certain medical conditions or medications may contraindicate the use of HBOT. It is important to discuss your medical history and any current medications with your healthcare provider before starting HBOT.
Is HBOT safe?
HBOT is generally safe, and serious complications are rare. The most common complication after HBOT is trauma to the middle ear and sinus pain.
How quickly does it work?
It depends on the condition and predetermined limits agreed at the time of consultation. With repeated treatments, the temporary extra high oxygen levels encourage normal tissue oxygen levels, even after the therapy is completed.
Who shouldn’t use HBOT?
It shouldn't be used by people who have had recent ear surgery or injury, a cold or fever, or certain types of lung disease.