Treating decompression sickness Brisbane
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is best known for treating decompression sickness. It reduces the amount of nitrogen in your body and fills the tissue with oxygen.
Hyperbaric chamber for decompression sickness Brisbane
What is decompression sickness?
If you are a scuba diver, you know all too well about decompression sickness. It’s a rare condition that can occur when working at high or low altitudes. Typically, deep sea divers, miners, aviators, mountain climbers and astronauts have to be careful when working in these high or low-altitude circumstances.
Decompression sickness happens when bubbles of nitrogen enter the bloodstream and tissues. Gas bubbles aren’t normally present inside blood vessels and cause irritation that can cascade into decompression sickness.
The bubbles can cause dangerous symptoms throughout the body. The most common symptoms are:
- joint pain,
- hypaesthesia (numbness),
- extreme fatigue,
Less common but more serious symptoms of decompression sickness are:
- motor weakness,
- ataxia (impaired balance or coordination),
- pulmonary oedema (too much fluid in the lungs),
Deep sea divers using compressed air are at particular risk for decompression sickness if they come to the surface too quickly.
If you are older, heavier, or less physically active, you may have a higher risk of decompression sickness.
Treating decompression sickness with HBOT
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for decompression sickness
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is the primary treatment option for decompression sickness.
In daily life, the air we breathe contains 21% of oxygen. With hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), you breathe in 100% oxygen at air pressure levels that are 2 to 2.8 times higher than in normal life. It immediately reduces the number of nitrogen bubbles in your bloodstream, fills your tissues with oxygen, and reduces dangerous swelling.
The beneficial effects of hyperbaric oxygen are:
- Immediately starts to reduce the size of nitrogen bubbles in your bloodstream to allow it to “escape”
- Fills tissues with oxygen to counter and help wash the nitrogen out of your system
- Reduces dangerous swelling that can occur with decompression sickness
Check our overview page and find out how HBOT can improve your quality of life and overall health.
Your journey starts with these 3 steps
When you have completed your hyperbaric sessions, your condition is reassessed by one of our doctors.