Hyperbaric Oxygen FAQ
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment is the use of 100% pure oxygen that's precisely pressurized to treat health conditions (typically air is about 21% oxygen content at 1 atmosphere of pressure "atm" at sea level).
Most Hyperbaric treatments are between 1.5 and 2.5 atmospheres of pressure absolute (1.5 - 2.5 ATA) with pure oxygen.
The pressures for treatment of brain disorders and injury is between 1.5 and 2.0 ATA.
For most infections up to 2.5 ATA is used for 1 h sessions.
For wound healing pressures of 2–2.5 ATA are often used for 1-2 hours.
How does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Work?
This increased pressure provides dramatically more oxygen to the tissues than is possible under normal atmospheric pressure conditions.
The increase of pressure provided by the Hyperbaric chamber dissolves more oxygen into the blood and subsequent more oxygen can diffuse into body tissues to enhance healing and other processes.
What are the benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment?
As mentioned above, the primary effect is enhanced tissue healing from oxygen saturation of tissues.
Less edema, more collagen production, better immune activity, stem cell mobilization and anti-microbial actions are all secondary effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen.
How often are treatments given?
The length and frequency of treatments will be individualized by your Naturopathic doctor at TruMed for you and your particular condition.
For most health conditions, patients are treated once or twice a day, five days per week (Monday to Friday).
Treatment length can be from 1 to 2 hours.
IV Therapy may complement your HBOT treatments most often 2x weekly usually administered by your Naturopath right before treatment but possibly right after as well.
How many Hyperbaric treatments do I need?
In most cases of for healing support (wounds or neurological), the effects are gradual and 20 - 40 Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments may be required.
This are often combined with nutritional IV treatments.
The IV treatments given will be determined by your Naturopathic doctor at the initial consultation.
What will I feel during the Hyperbaric Oxygen Treament?
Once the Hyperbaric treatment begins you will hear the oxygen coming into the chamber if often sounds like hissing.
Although our new, state of the art Perry Hyperbaric chambers have reduced noise compared to older chambers.
You will have to clear or "crack" ears repeatedly to equalize the pressure.
As the pressure increases, you may feel an increase in air temperature as the air is compressed.
Similarly, the chamber will cool as you are decompressed.
For high pressure or long treatments, you may also have to wear a mask intermittently for what are called “air breaks.”
What do I do during treament?
You just lay back and relax.
TruMed purchased large diameter clear acrylic Hyperbaric chambers so you can feel like you're in an open space so our Edmonton patients can relax comfortably.
How soon can I see or feel a response from the therapy?
Generally speaking, up to 20 Hyperbaric sessions are needed before new blood vessels start to grow and for substantial healing to begin especially in longstanding conditions.
However symptomatic improvements can certainly happen much sooner especially when HBOT is paired with IV Therapy which is why TruMed offers Edmonton both.
Because physical changes like new blood vessel growth occur, that's why the effects of persistent treatment are prolonged.
What are the risks?
Ear damage is one possibility that can happen in the rare instance someone cannot equalize their pressures.
Oxygen toxicity is another rare side effect of Hyperbaric Oxygen that can happen with prolonged exposures to high pressures (>2.0 - 2.4 ATA).
Our Hyperbaric chambers come equipped with Air break masks because safety is the utmost concern at TruMed with our Edmonton patients.
Air breaks are typically done with treatments higher than 2.0 ATM to prevent oxygen toxicity.
Some patients will experience a temporary change in their vision (nearsightedness) after a large number of treatments.
Does Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy cause free radicals?
Reactive oxygen species, are always produced when oxygen is metabolized by the cells in our body (some electrons can “escape” the electron transport chain and combine with oxygen to form a very unstable form of oxygen) and naturally this is increased as oxygen delivery is enhanced from Hyperbaric treatment.
The activity of your own enzymatic antioxidants superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and catalase (CAT) is upregulated in response to generation of reactive oxygen species.
Hyperbaric Oxygen can temporarily induce more production of reactive oxygen species, but more importantly it stimulates increased antioxidant activity that persists long after the therapy session.
Do I need a referral for Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments in Edmonton?
TruMed is a private clinic in Edmonton and our policy does not require a doctor’s referral to accept clients for Hyperbaric therapy or IV Therapy.
However, you do require an initial consultation with Dr. Muradov prior to Hyperbaric treatments so we can understand your health history, assess current and past labs and treatments and make the best overall recommendations for your health.
We take Hyperbaric safety extremely seriously and take every precaution to ensure safe and effective treatments for our Edmonton patients.
Why is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy so expensive?
Our facility is a first class Hyperbaric facility - the only of its kind in Edmonton.
We have spared no expense to bring the most up-to-date and advanced American made, Health Canada Approved Perry monoplace Hyperbaric chambers to serve our Edmonton patients.
When multiplace chambers with oxygen masks are used, owing to leakage/slippage of the mask, with a 2.0 ATA treatment, the effective pressure patients actually receive can be closer equivalent to 1.2 – 1.8 ATA.
In a Monoplace chamber, the pressure is exact but monoplace requires dramatically more oxygen.
Is Hyperbaric Therapy covered by Alberta Health?
Hyperbaric treatment in the hospital setting in Edmonton can be covered by Alberta health.
Because TruMed is a private clinic, our Hyperbaric treatment is not covered by Alberta health for our Edmonton patients unfortunately.
What are soft shell Hyperbaric chambers or mild Hyperbaric treatment?
Inflatable chambers "Mild Hyperbarics" are available that have a maximum rated pressure of 1.3 ATA (hence mild) that can go slightly higher if tampered with but can of course pose a serious safety hazard especially when being used in an unsupervised home setting.
These chambers are not Health Canada approved like the rigid acrylic monoplace chambers we have at TruMed.
An Oxygen concentrator is used in a soft inflatable chamber does not provide substantial pressure or oxygen to provide the benefits of Hyperbaric treatment.
The minimum pressure required for an appreciable Hyperbaric effect is 1.5 ATA for the brain and 2.0 ATA for the rest of the body as a general rule.