Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Stroke

For as long as injuries and maladies have existed, people have been searching for ways to alleviate them. One sort of treatment that has come to prominence in recent years has been the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, especially as it relates to conditions of the brain, such as the effects of a stroke.

But before making the choice to undergo this type of treatment, it’s important to understand several aspects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. In this article, we’ll look at several key questions:

  • What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
  • What happens during a hyperbaric oxygen therapy session?
  • What sort of effect does hyperbaric oxygen therapy have on the effects of a stroke?

Let’s examine each of these in a bit more depth.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy? 

In short, hyperbaric chamber therapy is a type of therapy that involves being made to breathe pure oxygen in an environment that is more pressurized than usual. The intake of pure oxygen can be used to mitigate many conditions.

What Happens During a Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Session?

Legitimate hyperbaric oxygen therapy always takes place under the supervision of a medical team. Depending on how your appointment is structured, your hyperbaric oxygen chamber may accommodate only you, or a group of people, with each option producing the same benefits.

During the typically two-hour-long session, the air pressure is increased anywhere from two to three times the normal air pressure. The patient isn’t expected to do any activity during the process, so just relax and breathe deeply.

Of course, there are risks involved with any procedure, so although you’ll be monitored by a medical team for the duration of the appointment, it’s advisable to check with your GP to determine if hyperbaric oxygen therapy would be right for you based on your medical history.

And prior to your appointment, you may want to check with the facility that will be administering the treatment on any specific methodology or preparation they may employ. Every place is different, and thus may adhere to different protocols.

What Sort of Effect Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Have on the Effects of a Stroke? 

The reasoning behind the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat the effects of a stroke lies within the reparative effect that oxygen has on damaged tissues. All of the body’s tissues require a certain amount of oxygen to adequately function. Injured tissues require a greater amount of oxygen to improve function. So when the brain is injured, an increased intake of pure oxygen can help to mitigate the damage previously done, and potentially enhance the patient’s recovery.

An Israeli study was conducted in 2013 that evidenced that time spent undergoing hyperbaric chamber therapy for stroke was able to restore certain aspects of lost sensations, as well as certain motor and language skills.

This restoration isn’t necessarily immediate, however. It’s important to know that marked results may require a few sessions, particularly if the traumatic brain injury was especially severe.

A Final Word 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has proven itself to be an effective treatment for conditions of all forms, including the effects of stroke. And while it still seems to fall a bit outside the parameters of “conventional medicine,” it is certainly an option worth exploring.

 

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