Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

How does hyperbarics work?

Hyperbarics is a technology in which the air pressure in the environment is increased. When a person's body is placed in a more pressure environment, it absorbs more oxygen molecules per volume of compressed air.

The body normally transports oxygen via the hemoglobin of the red blood cells. By increasing the air pressure, oxygen is then driven into the body's fluids, allowing a super-saturation of tissues and organs with oxygen. The increased pressure infuses the body with oxygen, even reaching injuries with damaged circulation. An example of this is a blood clot in the brain (stroke).

What is the difference between Mild Hyperbarics and High Pressure Hyperbarics?

Mild Hyperbarics is generally a pressure protocol up to 1.3 ATA or 4 psi.

High Pressure Hyperbarics involves pressures above 1.5 ATA.

These pressures are achieved in a variety of chambers currently available on the market, including monoplace, multiplace and portable chambers.

What is Hyperbarics used for?

Stoke, diabetic foot wounds, air and gas embolism, carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation, gas gangrene, decompression sickness, acute mountain sickness, cerebral palsy, brain injuries, near-drowning, thermal burns, anemia, brown recluse spider bites, wound healing, crush injuries, bone grafts...to list a few.

Does insurance cover Hyperbarics?

In the United States, there are certain indications which insurance covers. To request a list of approved indications, contact the IHA on the "Contact Us" page.

How many treatments are needed?

Each case is different and the doctors may regulate protocols, depending on a patient's disease, prognosis and improvements through the course of therapy.

Is Hyperbarics safe?

Hyperbarics has a very good safety record. Many hyperbaric centers report only mild otic discomfort as a contraindication to therapy. Such a discomfort is similar to the ear pressure felt when ascending or descending in altitude. These discomforts may be minimized by descending at a slower rate. Discuss these concerns with the treating physician and hyperbaric technician.

Where can I go for treatments?

To find a hyperbaric center in your area, you should call our referral line 877.IHA.USA1. We will recommend a center within the network of the IHA.

Can I overdose on oxygen?

Added enriched oxygen does need to be monitored. Ask your doctor and trained hyperbari professional. Of course, if enriched oxygen is not being supplemented into the chamber, this is not an issue.

Is hyperbarics good for children?

Yes, hyperbarics yields wonderful results with children. In fact, research with children suffering from brain-injuries and genetic disorders shows positive results and great promise.

Is hyperbarics good for the elderly?

Most definitely. Hyperbarics is great for those in their later years. Hyperbarics provides an immeasurable boost which counteracts the signs of aging. In fact, new research indictes that hyperbaric oxygenation slows Apoptosis (cell death).

What if I’m healthy but want to do hyperbarics for fitness and wellness?

Mild hyperbarics is used regularly by people from all walks of life, including professional athletes and mountain climbers. As a competitive edge for athletes, hyperbaric oxygenation reduces muscle fatigue and the build-up of lactic acid. Members who use hyperbarics in their professional athletic careers report an advantage over competitors.

People who live at high altitudes should have access to a hyperbaric chamber at any given time. Because at higher altitudes, a given volume of air contains less oxygen that at sea level or below, a hyperbaric chamber can increase oxygen levels in the body and alleviate ailments induced by hypoxia and acute mountain sickness.