“Why would hyperbaric oxygen therapy be helpful? First of all, hyperbaric oxygen treatment boosts white blood cell activity in damaged parts of the body, controlling infections. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy also tends to constrict blood vessels and decrease the amount of blood pumped by the heart. Although this sounds like a negative effect, it actually diminishes blood flow to an injured region, helping to reduce pressure and swelling. Even though blood supply is curtailed, the amount of oxygen actually reaching damaged tissues rises with hyperbaric oxygen treatment because of the surplus oxygen inhaled.
Over the past 20 years or so, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been used fairly successfully to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, including gangrene, carbon-monoxide poisoning, and the decompression sickness sometimes experienced by deep-sea divers. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment has occasionally worked well for patients whose tissues have been damaged by radiation, and there’s some indication that hyperbaric oxygen therapy could be a useful treatment for bone infections, cyanide poisoning, smoke inhalation, recurrent infections, bums, and traumatic ‘crush injuries’ in which body parts are mechanically squashed as a result of a car accident or a hard physical blow to the body.
However, scientific research concerning the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, much of it carried out in the former Soviet Union, has yielded somewhat mixed results. Overall, the studies suggest that after radiation treatments for malignant cancer, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can enhance tendon and ligament repair in damaged parts of the body but has much more limited success with restoring injured nerve cells.
Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
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Umm al-Qaiwain, United Arab Emirates, Umm al-Qaiwain, UAE