When it comes to hyperbaric oxygen therapy there really is only one choice.

Having a serious medical condition is something that requires your full attention. You should ensure whatever you do, it will deliver the results you are looking for. Medical procedures should be safe, proven to work and be supervised by qualified health care professionals.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one area of medicine that has many options given to you, and sometimes the providers are not always equal. There are many small operators offering mild hyperbaric treatment using portable, inflatable chambers – sometimes they might even offer you the convenience of coming to your home. These are really not true hyperbaric chambers and the benefits of using them are very questionable.

Mild hyperbaric chambers are not able to replicate the same depth as a medical grade chamber. The lack of pressure and the level and quality of the oxygen given will limit the ability to encourage healing and growth of bone and soft tissue. There is also a major concern around safety – most of the mild hyperbaric chambers are operated by non-hyperbaric qualified operators – and the important safety checks and procedures may not be in place due to the small size and inexperience of the operators. But most of all there really is no evidence that these chambers do anything for your condition and you could be wasting your money by choosing them.

For over 20 years Wesley Hyperbaric has been successfully treating patients for a range of conditions. We offer a full medical grade service and product that is accredited and approved by most major health funds – and for certain conditions, Medicare. The fact that conditions are covered by health care funds is an indication that there is sufficient scientific evidence that the treatment works. Our service offers a non-invasive and safe process. All completed under the supervision of our expert and fully qualified technicians, nurses and doctors. And we are located within the Wesley Hospital medical precinct.

The Wesley Hyperbaric offers a completely different, and superior service than those of the small mild hyperbaric chambers. The following table gives a side by side comparison to really highlight to you that when making your decision to choose hyperbaric therapy for your condition there really is only one choice you should make:

Wesley Hyperbaric Mild hyperbaric chamber
Usually Pressurised to 14 metres Only capable of depths of 2.5 metres
100 per cent oxygen Air (21 per cent oxygen 79 per cent nitrogen)
Encourages growth of bone and tissue Does not grow bone and tissue
Accredited through research No research or accreditation
Covered by major health funds and Medicare No cover for treatment
Medical grade treatment Treatment is not proven to work
Highly regulated industry No qualification or license needed
Safety technicians and monitoring of conditions to ensure safety at all times No provision of safety checks or monitoring of situations within the chamber
Arterial oxygen at 2.4 ATA 100% oxygen is 1,824 mmHg (normal air pressure is 157mmHg). This refers to how much oxygen is getting into the body, what is making the changes. Arterial oxygen at 1.3 ATA 24% oxygen is 230 mmHg (normal air pressure is 157mmHg).
Safe in the knowledge that the staff are fully qualified hyperbaric medical professionals Often a single operator, small business owner handling all the procedures and processes.

Why not take the time to read about the full range of conditions we treat at Wesley Hyperbaric. We have some case studies on our website too so you can hear about some successes we have had with our patients.

If you think you might need some more information, then please contact us and we can help you with your decision and get you on the right tracks to making a recovery.

 

 

HBOT and Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (ISSHL) is defined as hearing loss of at least 30dB occurring within 3 days over at least three contiguous frequencies.1

The most common clinical presentation involves sudden unilateral hearing loss, tinnitus, aural fullness and vertigo. The incidence is estimated at 8-15 per 10,0000 worldwide.2

There are currently over 100 publications available evaluating the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for treatment of ISSHL, including eight randomised control trials and a Cochrane meta-analysis.

On average, HBOT has been shown to impart a 19.3dB gain for moderate hearing loss and 37.7dB gain for severe cases. 3 This improvement brings hearing deficits from the moderate/severe range into the slight/no impairment range, a significant gain that can markedly improve a patient’s quality of life.

There is currently no consensus over the aetiology of ISSHL, with suggested mechanisms including vascular occlusion, ischemia, viral infection, labyrinthine membrane breaks, immune associated disease, abnormal cochlear stress response, trauma, abnormal tissue growth, toxins, ototoxic drugs and cochlear membrane damage. 4

The rationale for the mechanism of action for HBOT in ISSHL is likely due to the high metabolism and vascular paucity of the cochlea. Tissue oxygenation of the cochlear structures occurs via diffusion from cochlear capillary networks into the perilymph and cortilymph.

Perilymph oxygen tension has been shown to decrease significantly with ISSHL. 5 Animal studies have shown that compared to room air, normobaric oxygen increases perilymph PO2 3.4 fold, while HBO2 increases perilymph PO2 9.4 fold. 6 However, only HBO2 has been shown to achieve extremely high arterial perilymphatic oxygen concentration gradients in both animals and humans. Other additional postulated benefits include anti-inflammatory effects, blunting of ischemia reperfusion injury and oedema reduction.

When ISSHL is diagnosed, immediate referral to an ENT surgeon should occur. Oral steroids at 1mg/kg/day is a common initial dose tapering over the course of 2-3 weeks.

HBOT has been shown to be most effective if delivered within 2 weeks of hearing loss, with benefit possible up to 3 months post insult.7,8 Patients with a delay of greater than 14 days, advanced age and vertigo are however associated with poorer outcomes. 8

The Cochrane analysis of HBOT for ISSHL has shown a NNT of 5.3.3

A typical treatment regimen is of 10-15 treatments breathing 100% oxygen at 2.4ATA, during which routine pure tune audiometry is undertaken on a weekly basis to track changes in hearing acuity as a response to the treatment.

There is no medicare item number for treatment of ISSHL at this point in time, but the treatment is covered by Alliance health funds so there is no out of pocket expense for their clients.

Our unit will happily asses any referred patient with ISSHL. We can then discuss options and undertake treatment if required.

 

References

1 Haberkamp TJ, Tanyeri HM. Management of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing Loss. Am J Otol. 1999 Sep;20:587-592
2 Lionello M, Staffieri C, Breda S, Turato C, Giacomelli L, Magnavita P, de Filippis C, Staffieri A, Marioni G Uni- and multivariate models for investigating potential prognostic factors in idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Mar 25.
3 Bennett MH, Kertesz T, Matthias P, Yeung P. Hyperbaric oxygen for idiopathic sensorineural hearing lossand tinnitus. Cochrane Database Sys Rev. 2010 Jan 20;(1): CD004739
4 Alimoglu Y, Inci E, Edizer DT, Ozdeilek A, Aslan M. Efficacy comparison of oral steroid, intratympanic steroid, hyperbaric oxygen and oral steroid and hyperbaric oxygen treatments in idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss cases. Eur Arch otorhinology. 2011 Dec;268(12):1735-1741
5 Nagahara K, fisch U, Yagi n. Perilymph oxygenation in sudden and progressive sensorineural hearing loss. Acta Otolarygol. 1983 Jul-Aug; 96(1-2):57-68
6 Lamm C, Walliser U, Schumann K, Lamm K. Oxygen partial pressure measurements in the perilymph and the scala tympani in normo- and hyperbaric conditions. An animal experiment study. HNO. 1988 Sep;36(9):363-366
7 Marchesi G, Valetti TM, Amer M, Ross M, Tibertu R, Ferani R, Ferani R, Mauro G Di. The HBO effect in sudden hearing loss treatment. UHMS Annular Scientific Meeting Abstracts, 2000.
8 Murphy-Lavoie H, Piper S, Moon RE, LeGros T. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for idiopathic sudden Sensorineural hearing Loss. Undersea Hyperb Med. 2012;39(3):777-792