Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or simply known as COPD is known to affect no less than sixty million people globally, both in mild and severe forms.
To make matters worse, there isn’t any identified cure for the condition. Nevertheless, there are ways you can keep its symptoms under control and thereby slow down the progression.
The traditional forms of treatments for COPD aim to clear the blocked airways and reduce inflammation. Besides, certain alternate treatment options rely on the power of oxygen to reverse the conditions and help you breathe better with your lungs.
One such sought-after treatment option comes in the shape of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), which over the years has helped several people deal with an array of chronic conditions.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes HBOT for several on-label disorders and conditions. Despite a dozen benefits that HBOT offers, it remains a far cry chiefly due to limited availability and not so affordable hyperbaric chamber price.
In this post, we will discuss the potential of HBOT and how it can help better the lives of people living with COPD.
Ascertaining the need for HBOT
Before you can approach your healthcare provider to consider an alternate treatment like HBOT for COPD, you will need to undergo a thorough examination of your symptoms.
This might include a long list of tests to determine your root cause, as in some cases, certain underlying conditions may mimic COPD. If left untreated, it can lead to severe consequences.
The happy note, in this case, is, not every COPD patient would require HBOT. Your physician will be the best person to decide the same by taking into account your lung output and blood samples to form a correlation. Ultimately, with other examination reports, it will reveal how much oxygen is there in your bloodstream and if it’s alarmingly low, you might benefit a lot from resorting to HBOT.
Remember, some COPD patients may require supplemental oxygen supply for just a few hours a day, while some would require the same only during the night.
Is HBOT similar to other oxygen-based treatments?
While the objective of all oxygen-based treatments remains the same, i.e., boosting your lung’s breathing capacity, no two treatments are similar.
HBOT has been used for decades to treat patients suffering from chronic wounds, anemia, carbon monoxide poisoning, gas gangrene, and many other conditions. Patients undergoing HBOT breathe in 100 percent pure oxygen inside a pressurized chamber that allows for maximum absorption by their lungs.
HBOT, as prescribed by a doctor, can either be administered alone or accompany other medications and surgeries. The usual duration of an HBOT session is roughly around 90 minutes and depending upon the size of the chamber, you may sit or lie during the procedure.
Prerequisites For HBOT
While HBOT is a fairly safe procedure, your attending medical professional can ask you to follow a few basics that include:
- Temporarily keeping away from using skin products
- Removing all jewelry before you go in for the procedure
- No electronics or metal objects are allowed on the patient as it might lead to a hazard in an oxygen-rich environ
- In some cases, you might be asked to stop taking your chronic care medicines a day or two ahead of your session dates
Besides, one should also have a detailed discussion with their healthcare professional regarding hyperbaric chamber price that usually adds up to the final bill that you pay at the healthcare facility.
At certain times, the attending medical professional can chalk out an easy payment option or refer to another facility where you can avail of the treatment at discounted rates.
What Can You Expect During The Procedure?
Once you are ready to undergo HBOT, you will be led inside a glass chamber which can either be single accommodating or multiple, depending on the need and availability. Nevertheless, they both work in the same manner–the only difference being in hyperbaric chamber price.
You will be advised to breathe normally, and the attending medical staff shall keep a constant vigil throughout the session. Typically, you are expected to return for follow-up sessions every week or up to thirty sessions at least.
Establishing The Efficacy Of HBOT Treating COPD
In 2015, the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, conducted a study involving patients undergoing HBOT, over sixty years old, and suffering from multiple health conditions besides COPD.
Reportedly, the study was the first of its kind to describe the use of oxygen therapy for COPD and depicted a remarkably superior result, bettering the quality of life and survival rate of individuals.
The use of oxygen-based therapy for a large number of COPD patients in the US alone increased by as much as eight percent between 2001-2008. The reason behind this is nothing but the excellent survival rate that HBOT promises for several people struggling with COPD.
Incidentally, women who are more affected by COPD compared to men have shown longer life expectancies. Nevertheless, the high hyperbaric chamber price has deterred many wanting a sustaining relief from COPD.
HBOT as an alternate treatment option has only made it possible to better the living conditions of people with COPD.
As it promotes faster healing of tissues, reduced inflammation, and growth of new blood vessels, one can start feeling its effectiveness right after a few days of their first session. However, it is advised in the best interest that you don’t skip and complete the prescribed number of sessions to significantly better COPD as a chronic condition.
Sure, the hyperbaric chamber price remains a constraint for many– especially when you have a serious patient at home, and travel isn’t possible. In such cases, you can always opt for chambers on rent or go for second-hand models.