Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) is a medical treatment given in a comfortable, climate-controlled, see-through chamber.  "Hyperbaric" means "higher than the normal atmospheric pressure." Most treatments are given at two to three times normal pressure.  Normally, oxygen is 21% of the air we breathe.  In the chamber, the air is 100% oxygen.  The combination of increased pressure and 100% oxygen significantly increases the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream which may provide the following benefits:
  • Preservation of injured tissue
  • Improved delivery of oxygen to injured tissue
  • Improved wound healing
  • Improved control of certain infections
  • Improved growth of new blood vessels

What to Expect 

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) is a medical treatment done in an increased pressure and oxygen concentrated environment.  Most treatments are given at two to three times normal pressure and with 100% oxygen rather than the normal 21%.


  • Treatments last for about 2 hours and given 1-2 times per day.
  • Music and television are available in the chamber and a nurse and therapist are on hand at all times.

Similar to the sensation you get flying or driving in the mountains, your ears will start to pop as pressure is increased and decreased at the end of the treatment.

Preparation for treatment--items not allowed in the chamber

For patients with prostheses/artificial limbs, hyperbaric oxygen treatment is available, but you will not be able to wear your prosthesis during treatment. 

nail polish      aftershave  watches  dentures and partials  liniment
 hair spray  deodorant  contact lens (hard)  lipstick  jewelry
 hair oil  makeup  petroleum jelly  salves  prosthetic devices
 perfume  synthetic clothing  wigs  mustache wax  
 hearing aids  nylon  ointments  cologne  



 Other precautions

-Shaving lotions containing petroleum or alcohol should not be used before treatment.
-Remove all jewelry.
-You will receive a cotton gown to wear during your treatment.
-Cold or flu-like symptoms may affect clearing of ears and might result in treatment delay until conditions improve.
-Smoking decreases effectiveness.  Please refrain.

Side Effects
Some people have noticed a slight change in their eyesight but upon completion, this condition usual resolves itself. Cracking and popping of ears persists in some people.

Information for referring physicians