Hyperbaric Therapy

Hyperbarics is a technology in which the air pressure in the environment is increased. When a person's body is placed in a more pressure environment, it absorbs more oxygen molecules per volume of compressed air.

The body normally transports oxygen via the hemoglobin of the red blood cells. By increasing the air pressure, oxygen is then driven into the body's fluids, allowing a super-saturation of tissues and organs with oxygen. The increased pressure infuses the body with oxygen, even reaching injuries with damaged circulation. An example of this is a blood clot in the brain (stroke). Mild Hyperbarics is generally a pressure protocol up to 1.3 ATA or 4 psi.

What are the benefits of oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides benefits in treating a variety of conditions. For example, flooding the body with oxygen forces other gases to be quickly eliminated. This is beneficial in the treatment of victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. For patients with crush injuries, the high-pressure oxygen environment restricts blood flow and can help guard against dangerous swelling.

Treatment in a hyperbaric chamber can also be extremely effective for patients who have certain types of wounds that resist healing. We prescribe oxygen therapy for each patient after we perform micro laser peels to reduce redness and accelerate the healing process. As an adjunct to treatment of wounds, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been found to increase the healing potential of your body's natural mechanisms. Benefits have also been documented in conditions from traumatic injuries to burns, and include one or more of the following:
Enhanced wound healing
Increase in white blood cells' defense to infection Reduction or elimination of the effects of toxic substances Reduction or elimination of gas / air-bubbles Repair of damaged tissues.


How many treatments are needed?

Each case is different and the doctors may regulate protocols, depending on a patient's disease, prognosis and improvements through the course of therapy. Most cosmetic laser therapies are enhanced with one to two hyperbaric sessions.

Is Hyperbarics safe?

Hyperbarics has a very good safety record. Many hyperbaric centers report only mild optic discomfort as a contraindication to therapy. Such a discomfort is similar to the ear pressure felt when ascending or descending in altitude. Descending at a slower rate may minimize these discomforts. Discuss these concerns with the treating physician and hyperbaric technician.

Can I overdose on oxygen?

Added enriched oxygen does need to be monitored. Ask your doctor and trained hyperbaric professional. Of course, if enriched oxygen is not being supplemented into the chamber, this is not an issue.

Is hyperbarics good for children?

Yes, hyperbarics yields wonderful results with children. In fact, research with children suffering from brain-injuries and genetic disorders shows positive results and great promise.

Is hyperbarics good for the elderly?

Most definitely. Hyperbarics is great for those in their later years. Hyperbarics provides an immeasurable boost, which counteracts the signs of aging. In fact, new research indicates that hyperbaric oxygenation slows Apoptosis (cell death).

What if I'm healthy but want to do hyperbarics for fitness and wellness?

People from all walks of life, including professional athletes and mountain climbers, use mild hyperbarics regularly. As a competitive edge for athletes, hyperbaric oxygenation reduces muscle fatigue and the build-up of lactic acid. Members who use hyperbarics in their professional athletic careers report an advantage over competitors.

People who live at high altitudes should have access to a hyperbaric chamber at any given time. Because at higher altitudes, a given volume of air contains less oxygen that at sea level or below, a hyperbaric chamber can increase oxygen levels in the body and alleviate ailments induced by hypoxia and acute mountain sickness.


During the hyperbaric treatment, the hyperbaric chamber pressurizes with little noticeable change other than a "popping" or fullness in the ears. This is a temporary sensation that results from pressure changes inside the ears. You will be instructed on techniques to "clear your ears." Chewing gum or simply yawning can help equalize ear pressure. Occasionally, decongestants may be recommended if approved by your Primary Physician.

Most patients tolerate hyperbaric therapy quite well. After each hyperbaric treatment, you should feel no difference in your general physical condition.


Because of the increased oxygen concentration and increased atmospheric pressure, certain safety measures are needed. You will be reminded before each hyperbaric treatment not to bring any matches, lighters, hearing aids, watches, and electronic devices with you into the hyperbaric chamber.


It is recommended that patients stop smoking for the duration of their hyperbaric treatment course. Smoking greatly reduces the effectiveness of Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments.


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Dennis C. Ford, M.D.
2020 Keith Street, NW, Suite C
Cleveland, TN 37311
(423) 614.0535