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The Healing Power of Oxygen

The air we breathe contains 21 percent oxygen. During hyperbaric therapy, the patient breathes 100 percent oxygen at greater than normal atmospheric pressure.

While providing 100 percent oxygen through a facemask has certain benefits, providing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber delivers even greater benefits. Hyperbaric therapy works by increasing oxygen carried in the blood stream – not by the oxygen having direct contact with the skin or wounds. Hyperbaric therapy has been proven to:

  • Promote blood vessel formation
  • Enhance wound healing
  • Improve infection control
  • Preserve damaged tissues
  • Eliminate and reduce effects from toxic substances
  • Reduce or eliminate tissue and blood flow obstruction by gas bubbles

For a patient with a problem wound, increasing blood oxygen levels promotes healing. For a victim of smoke inhalation, the extra oxygen can rapidly reverse the toxic effects of poisonous carbon monoxide.

Hyperbaric oxygen treatments are normally painless. The patient lies comfortably and restfully in an enclosed plastic acrylic chamber. You can watch TV, listen to music or even sleep. Side effects are limited, with the most commonly reported including light-headedness or popping in the ears.

Page updated 2/9/09