Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is gaining fame over time. It is used in public as well as private health facilitation centers as a mode of treatment for various health diseases. It is considered a safe and reliable means of medical illness. This therapy consists of a pressurized chamber that provides high oxygen concentration to enhance physical and mental wellbeing.
There’s no age or gender for Hbot, it can be used by adults as well as children. It is a very easy and convenient therapy that makes a part of our common life. It has proved itself as a lifesaving discovery. It can be used after injuries and surgeries as well as for organ healing such as lungs or brain. From complications to normal routine therapy for anti-aging or good health, Hbot is there for you.
Despite having countless advantages, this therapy has some limitations for some patients. This article highlights the reasons behind Hbot’s limitations and the conditions when to avoid this therapy.
REASONS BEHIND HBOT’S LIMITATIONS
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is known worldwide for its advantages. But it has some limitations which cannot be neglected. Hbot has two major parameters to treat medical issues. These are;
- High atmospheric pressure in the chamber
- Nearly 100% oxygen environment
- These two parameters are different from the normal living environment. Our outer environment has 21% oxygen and 1 atm pressure. In the therapy, the chamber provides up to 95% oxygen and pressure of 2-3 atm. These unusual changes are equalized by the body in those chambers. The homeostasis mechanism of the body causes interchanges against the external pressure and high oxygen leading to lungs, brain, ear, and respiratory disorders.
RISKY CONDITIONS FOR HBOT
There are many situations when hyperbaric oxygen therapy is highly risky. It is beneficial for the patient’s health to either temporarily delay or avoid (according to the doctor’s recommendation) the therapy under those conditions. Otherwise, it can cause drastic and irreversible damage to health.
Following are the conditions when one should not consider hyperbaric oxygen therapy:
HAVING HIGH FEVER
One should have a normal body temperature before stepping into the Hbot chamber. This is because the oxygen-carrying capacity of hemoglobin is disturbed in high temperatures. It unloads oxygen and ultimately leads to oxygen toxicity due to the high oxygen environment in the chamber. Therefore, patients having high fever should avoid Hbot until their health stabilizes.
SUFFERING FROM EAR DISEASE
A hyperbaric oxygen chamber gives our body a high-pressurized environment. It is highly risky for patients who have recently suffered an ear disorder or surgery because the ears would not be able to equalize the increasing pressure. It can cause pain, in-blowing of the eardrum, and damage to the tympanic membrane.
It is highly risky to consider Hbot when one is suffering from pneumothorax. It is a condition when there is extra air around the lungs. It gives an external continuous push to the lungs which causes them to collapse. It can be a partial or complete lung collapse. Therefore, in Hbot chambers, the lungs would not be able to cope with the volume squeeze resulting from high pressure.
It is normal to have an increased blood pressure after hyperbaric oxygen therapy. A person having uncontrolled hypertension should not use this therapy as it will put his heart under severe pressure. Heart pressure should be stable before considering Hbot. If neglected, it can seriously affect the arteries and can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy should not be used during pregnancy. The new research has shown high oxygen toxicity and other effects of Hbot on fetuses. The studies are still ongoing in this regard but it is indicated that Hbot should only be used by pregnant patients if suffering from CO poisoning. It will help to remove CO and bind oxygen with hemoglobin.
PATIENTS WITH ASSIST DEVICE
It is hazardous for the cardiac patient with assistance devices like pacemakers or defibrillators. It can catch fire in such a high oxygen environment. It can cause malfunctions in the device as well as is risky for the patient. If necessary, one should talk to the manufacturers of the devices regarding their withstand pressure.
ANXIETY OR CLAUSTROPHOBIA
It is noticed that some people have fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia) or anxiety when undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It affects their mental health badly. They feel suffocated or stressed out in the chamber. It is important to send them for psychotherapy before the oxygen therapy. In severe cases, Multiplace Hbot is recommended for them.
RECENT SURGICAL TREATMENT
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy exerts high pressure as well as delivers a high amount of oxygen. This advantageous procedure can be high-risk after an optical, thoracic, or ear surgery. The sinuses are sensitive to pressure after surgery. The pressure from the chamber can cause contraction or extension through any air trapped inside during the surgical procedure. Also, the organs like the lungs carry breathing and respiratory functions. Any recent respiratory disorder can lead to severe damage to the alveoli, lung damage, and pneumothorax.
SMOKING OR NICOTINE USE
It is advised to quit smoking before hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The use of nicotine constricts the blood vessels in different body areas. The vasoconstriction reduces the amount of oxygen carried via the blood and eventually the efficiency of the therapy.
It is recommended to consult a doctor if you are on some medications before going for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It is because some medicines can counteract or make the condition even worse. The patients should consult the doctor and go for a complete evaluation prior to the treatment.
There is a list of medicines given below that are contraindicated according to many studies :