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How to Safely Enjoy the Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy uses pressurized chambers to provide pure oxygen to the body. While this treatment has many benefits, safety protocols must be followed because oxygen is a highly-flammable substance, and some mistakes could have serious consequences. The high pressure inside the chamber may also not be suitable for some individuals. Here are tips to safely enjoy hyperbaric oxygen therapy benefits:

1. Get a Prescription From a Qualified Physician

Federal law requires a written prescription from a physician before getting hyperbaric oxygen treatment. The FDA considers 100% pure oxygen a drug. A qualified physician should evaluate your medical history and needs to determine whether this treatment is suitable for you. You may not be a good candidate if you have certain lung diseases because you may expose yourself to the risk of lung collapse. If you've had a recent ear injury or surgery, you may also not qualify. A medical professional can clear you to enjoy hyperbaric oxygen therapy benefits without risking your health.

2. Choose a Reputable Hyperbaric Therapy Clinic

Before scheduling an appointment at any hyperbaric therapy clinic, determine whether it's qualified to offer these treatments. The clinic should have medical-grade, suitably-sized chambers to allow patients to lie inside comfortably and get treated safely and effectively. It should also employ well-trained staff to avoid potential mistakes. Consider visiting a potential clinic to see for yourself and determine whether they're suitably resourced to offer quality services. The place should be clean, and the specialists should be skilled enough to help you feel comfortable throughout the procedure.

3. Learn What's Prohibited Inside the Chamber

Since hyperbaric chambers use pure oxygen, a highly flammable element, specialists discourage various items inside the chamber. These items can put your safety at risk. Prohibited items include perfumes, deodorants, artificial hairs, cigarettes, matches, and lighters. Any electronics, such as phones or tablets, should stay outside the chamber. While you may want something to entertain you throughout a session, it's not worth risking the potential consequences. Many clinics place TVs above their chambers to watch a movie or listen to music. You may also need to wear organic cotton to avoid the risk of static electricity from synthetic fibers.

4. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking Before Treatment

If you smoke and then go to a session, you may not get the full benefit of hyperbaric oxygen therapy due to tobacco in your body. Tobacco may cause constriction in your blood vessels and hinder oxygen transfer to various body parts. This substance may also increase your heart rate and pressure during treatment, putting your health at risk. Alcohol isn't any better; like tobacco, it can disrupt oxygen absorption and diminish the treatment's effectiveness. If you drink daily and still go for sessions, you risk seizures, which can be life-threatening. Avoid these substances and others like carbonated drinks and caffeine to reap the full hyperbaric oxygen therapy benefits and stay safe.

5. Communicate If You Feel Uncomfortable

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may involve mild discomfort as the pressure increases and decreases in the chamber. You may experience slight pressure in your ears while adjusting to these changes. The sensation disappears once you get used to the pressure. If you continue feeling pain or are uncomfortable inside the chamber, communicate with your specialist immediately. They can adjust the settings to help you feel more comfortable or suggest a break. Hyperbaric oxygen chambers feature high-tech communications systems, giving patients a direct line to specialists for questions and concerns. Since various bodies react differently to treatments, expressing how you feel can help you stay safe and enjoy the therapy's benefits. 

6. Stay Calm and Relaxed

When you first enter the chamber, it may feel overwhelming. Take a few deep breaths to stay calm and relaxed as you adjust to the new environment. Staying relaxed keeps you safe because it helps your body adjust faster and better to the pressure change. Avoid moving around too much because you may hurt yourself while inside the chamber.

Enjoy Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Benefits Safely

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has many advantages, from reducing inflammation and helping fight bacteria to stimulating capillary growth and boosting cellular function. Following these tips can help you stay safe and enjoy the full benefits of this treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask your provider. A qualified specialist can clearly explain the therapy's risks and benefits.

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