What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is the use of prescribed high pressure oxygen to treat a variety of health conditions and diseases. Breathing 100% pure oxygen under pressures greater than sea level increases the amount of oxygen carried by the blood, enabling the oxygen to be dissolved into the hard-to-reach plasma, lymph, and cerebrospinal fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord. These fluids more easily carry the increased oxygen to affected and damaged areas at up to 20 times the normal concentration, thus providing a greater opportunity for healing.Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy right for you?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is an effective treatment for a variety of medical conditions either as a primary or adjunctive treatment. It is generally painless and has very few contraindications. The medical staff at HMS evaluates each patient to determine whether Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is appropriate. If the medical staff determines that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is appropriate, they will customize a patient’s individual treatment protocol.What Medical Conditions are treated at HMS?
HMS is a full service free-standing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy facility, which treats all medical conditions that may be effectively treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. The FDA currently recognizes Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for 14 medical conditions, all of which are generally covered by insurance. In addition, there are countless other medical conditions that have been demonstrated through studies and anecdotal evidence to benefit from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. At HMS, we treat all medical conditions that may benefit from the increased concentration and absorption of oxygen in the body. For a complete list of the conditions treated at HMS, please click here.What does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy feel like?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is generally painless. After the chamber door is closed, oxygen begins to immediately circulate and the pressure begins to gradually increase. The patient will generally start to feel a fullness sensation in the ears, and an experienced HMS hyperbaric technician will guide the patient on relieving any ear pressure, similar to ascending or descending in an airplane. This fullness in the ears should only last for 10-15 minutes as the chamber is pressurized to a patient’s individual protocol. Near the end of the treatment session, the hyperbaric technician will gradually decrease the pressure in the chamber, a process that lasts about 10-15 minutes. During this decompression stage, it is common for patients to experience a slight popping sensation in the ears as a result of the change in pressure.Are there any side effects associated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
There are generally no side effects associated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. There have been occasional instances of patients reporting a crackling sensation in their ears between treatments because oxygen behind the eardrums is absorbed into the bloodstream. There have also been occasional reports of very brief dizziness following treatments. In very rare instances, patients experience oxygen toxicity from overuse of the therapy, which generally lasts for only a brief time and simply requires a break from treatments.Is there any preparation required for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
We ask that patients avoid drinking carbonated beverages directly prior to receiving treatments because there have been occasional reports of upset stomachs. Some medications are also incompatible with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, and a complete list of medications and supplements taken by the patient should be provided to the medical staff during the initial consult, and updates should always be provided to the medical staff. To maximize the benefit of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, smoking of any kind should be avoided during the course of a patient’s complete treatment protocol because smoking causes vasoconstriction, accumulation of carbon monoxide and other wastes, all which are counterproductive to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Lastly, alcohol consumption should be avoided at least 8 hours prior to treatment.What is allowed and not allowed inside a hyperbaric chamber?
HMS provides 100% cotton scrubs at our facility to every patient because there are many items that cannot be worn inside the chamber, including any clothing item that has buttons, snaps, Velcro, iron-on decals, or under-wiring. The technician must approve all garments before entering the chamber. Other products are also prohibited inside the hyperbaric chamber, including deodorant, lotion, perfume, mousse, gel, hairspray, makeup, jewelry, hair accessories, hearing aids, contact lenses, dentures, prostheses, nail polish (unless applied at least 48 hours prior to treatment), IV medication. The HMS technicians will make sure that these policies are followed every session or dive.What do I do inside the hyperbaric chamber?
For your enjoyment, each hyperbaric chamber at HMS is paired with its own TV and DVD player. Patients are welcomed to watch their favorite TV programs or bring movies/DVDs to watch.How many treatments will I need?
Every HMS patient is unique and individually evaluated according to their condition and response to therapy to determine the number of treatments needed. The average patient typically requires 40 treatments. Because Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a cumulative therapy, it is generally more beneficial for a patient to come in continuously for treatments.Is there any reason that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is not recommended?
Each HMS patient is evaluated by one of the physicians in the office to determine whether Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is an appropriate course of treatment. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is generally recommended for all medical conditions found in the Conditions Treated section of the web site unless during the evaluation process a contraindication is found.Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy covered by insurance?
To date, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is generally covered by insurance for the 14 FDA approved medical conditions. These 14 conditions are listed on the Conditions Treated section of the web site. Our experience, however, is that insurance generally covers each consultation. Plese note that at HMS we offer payment plans and financial assistance programs where treatment of a condition is not covered by isnurance. Our policy at HMS is to accommodate all candidates for Hyeprbaric Oxygen Therapy.How does HMS monitor and/or evaluate the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy treatments I receive?
Following the initial exam by the HMS physician to determine that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is an appropriate course of treatment, the patient is monitored during each visit by an experienced member of the medical staff at HMS. HMS uses a sophisticated electronic medical records system that helps track each patient’s improvements. Additionally, more formal evaluations of the patient’s progress will be completed following the completion of every ten treatment sessions.What kind of hyperbaric chambers does HMS use?
At HMS, we use state-of-the-art monoplace hyperbaric chambers. These chambers are acrylic and differ from the soft or mild variety of hyperbaric chamber in that they deliver 100% pressurized pure oxygen at greater atmospheric pressure levels, allowing HMS to treat a wider variety of health conditions more efficiently and effectively.