Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can treat a variety of medical conditions that involve oxygen-starved tissues. During the procedure, a patient breathes pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The 1-2-hour procedure increases oxygen levels in the blood to stimulate healing and increase the immune system’s ability to fight off infections.
Following doctor’s orders
Healthcare staff will usually give patients specific directions on how to prepare for their first hyperbaric appointment. Patients can have successful treatment by following all instructions and alerting staff if any cold or illness starts to develop during the treatments. Depending on the condition, the number of hyperbaric treatments needed differs. Patients can prepare for the first hyperbaric appointment with the following tips.
1. Foods and activities to avoid
Patients should arrive at least 30 minutes before the appointment starts and park near the facility for easy access. Doctors recommend patients should eat a good meal at least a couple of hours before the treatment begins. Patients should avoid eating foods that cause excessive gas, however.
Patients should also avoid drinking caffeine at least 4 hours before treatments. Caffeine narrows the blood vessels, making the travel of oxygen throughout the body more difficult. Tobacco use should also be avoided completely before treatment and 3 hours after because this narrows blood vessels, too. Please do not wear any make-up, hair products, lotions, colognes, perfume, wigs/hair pieces and deodorant. Do not use petroleum based products such as a Vaseline or alcohol for skincare prior to therapy session.
2. Items to leave behind
The pure oxygen in the chamber can cause a fire in the presence of a fuel source. For this reason, anyone in the room can’t bring in a number of items. Usually, items can be stored in a locker for later use. Prohibited items include, but aren’t limited to:
Petroleum and alcohol-based hair and skincare products
Adhesives and Velcro
Hard contact lenses
3. What to bring
Patients will change into 100% cotton gowns before beginning the first treatment. Doctors will advise individuals to wear cotton socks and underwear, too. Proper hygiene is crucial to successful treatments.
A first of multiple successful hyperbaric treatments
A person’s first HBOT session can be intimidating, but there’s nothing to worry about besides experiencing plugged ears. There are many ways to relieve ear pressure that can make the procedure and experience painless and effortless. Patients should speak with a physician to understand how to plan and what to expect for hyperbaric treatment.