The Robert M. Lombard Hyperbaric Oxygenation Medical Center, Inc.
How More Oxygen Benefits the Body
Home
What is Hyperbaric Oxygenation? How Does it Work?
Physiological Benefits Overview
Physics: Gas Laws
Frequently Asked Questions
Treatment Categories
Risks, Side Effects, Special Considerations, and Contraindications
Staff
Photo Album
Local Services and Therapies
Local Accommodations
Directions
Contact Us

    

     Most living organisms depend on oxygen for survival. Oxygen is the catalyst for a functioning cell to do its work. Different cells in the body have different functions. When sufficient oxygen and nutrients are available, life is sustained at the basic level. Hemoglobin—the red blood cells in the blood stream—normally carries all the oxygen a healthy body needs for survival.

 

When normal circulation is compromised or obstructed, normal cellular function is affected and some cells may die. If normal circulation is not restored quickly, long-term injury may result.

 

Other times, the body is compromised by infectious organisms and the immune system simply needs a boost, or a toxic substance, like carbon monoxide, has affected normal respiration.

 

Hyperbaric oxygenation is proving a useful adjunct to traditional medical modalities for a wide range of conditions and diagnoses.

 

While it is not possible to cite every physical benefit of hyperbaric oxygenation, outlined below are some of the physiological effects when breathing pure oxygen under hyperbaric conditions.

 

HYPERBARIC OXYGEN: 

 

 

  • Saturates body fluids with oxygen, up to six times normal.  Increases available oxygen supply to cells, which allows them to function beyond a "maintenance" status, or to be "jump-started" and into a functioning state. Hyperoxygenated cells  perform at an optimal level with less energy expended

 

  • Allows oxygen to cross the blood brain barrier effortlessly, providing a source of readily available molecular oxygen for immediate use by the brain tissue. Lets cells metabolize vital glucose, which is necessary for the production of neurotransmitters essential in brain function, without expending extra energy which would use vital nutrients.  (Glucose is metabolized throughout the body for energy on a daily basis)
  • Increases the availability of neurotransmitters
  • Increases the amount of stem cells circulating in the body (University of Pennsylvania Study)
  • Stimulates the growth of new capillaries (tiny blood vessels) which allows circulation to be restored or improved, and this reduces or eliminates hypoxia in affected areas. An increased network of blood vessels promotes deeper circulation of oxygen and nutrients under normal conditions.  Normal circulation allows certain medicines and antibiotics to penetrate farther into muscles and tissues which also helps to combat micro-organism growth
  • Stimulates connective tissue cells, which are rich in collagen, and promotes the growth of new skin
  • Stimulates molecular and enzymatic changes, and increases the ability of white blood cells to remove foreign bodies from the bloodstream including bacteria, fungi, dead cells and waste by-products
  • Stimulates the process involved in the normal remodeling of bone
  • Has potent anti-inflammatory effects
  • Increases the production of glutathione by 15 percent
  • Reduces swelling and mitigates damage to the surrounding cells, tissues and blood vessels (the cascade effect), which is particularly important to brain injuries. Reducing swelling (edema) in the brain lowers intracranial pressure. Is also a useful adjunct in treating trauma to the body, and certain sports injuries
  • Reduces the effect of radiation-induced injury to bone, soft tissue and organs by triggering the healing response to these areas
  • Inhibits the growth of some bacteria and kills anaerobic organisms (non-oxygen tolerant) such as those found in gas gangrene and certain Lyme spirochetes.  Improves performance of some antibiotics and medications
  • Reduces or eliminates the clotting effect that results from the return of blood flow to constricted areas (reperfusion injury) and helps deaggregate platelets
  • Mitigates the damaging effects of carbon monoxide on the body and brain
  • Removes from the bloodstream the gas bubbles that cause "the bends"

References:

 

Astrup J, Symon L. Siesjo BK. Thresholds in cerebral ischemia—the ischemic penumbra. Stroke 1981,;

 

Neubauer RA, James P. Cerebral oxygenation and the recoverable brain. Neurol Res 1998;

 

Sheffield PJ, Davis JC.  Application of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in a case of prolonged cerebral hypoxia following rapid decompression.  Aviat Space Environ Med 1976;

 

Neubauer RA, Gottlieb SF, Kagan RL. Enhancing “idling” neurons. Lancet 1990. 

 

 Olsen TS, Larsen B. Herning M. Skriver EB, Lassen NA.   Blood flow and vascular reactivity in collaterally perfused brain tissue.  Evidence of an ischemic penumbra in patients with acute stroke.  Stroke 1983.

 
 
This website is being updated. Please check back for more information.

 
 
Copyright 2008 The Robert M. Lombard Hyperbaric Oxygenation Medical Center, Inc. All Rights Reserved