SIDE EFFECTS & RISKS
As with any treatment and medication, potential side effects or risks are possible. There are some risks associated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy; however most of them are rare and great care is taken to prevent their possibility.
Nicotine counteracts the attempts to deliver oxygen through hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Nicotine patches must be removed 2 hours before treatment. Nicotine can; Restricts the blood supply to fingers and toes Irritate mucous membranes and may make it difficult to equalise your ears and sinuses, which can result in damage to you middle or inner ear. Carbon monoxide from cigarettes introduces carbon monoxide into the blood steam, which reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of your haemoglobin in your red blood cells. Based on the above, it is incompatible for patients to be smoking when they are undergoing treatment. Long term smokers are strongly advised to stop smoking during treatment.
During pressure change you may experience discomfort in your ears, sinuses or teeth (if you have fillings or cavities). The sensation in your ears may be relieved by several methods of equalization. Whenever a change of pressure occurs, there is the possibility of a small tear in the lung tissue and escape of air into surrounding structures outside of the lungs (pneumothorax). This can occur if the normal passage for air out of the lungs is blocked during depressurization. Slow depressurizations are used in all hyperbaric treatments to minimize this risk. Breathing normally will also aid in the minimization of pulmonary barotrauma. Do not hold your breath during you HBO treatment.
Breathing oxygen at increased pressure can result in central nervous system oxygen toxicity or pulmonary oxygen toxicity. In order to minimize this risk, the medically trained UP Inc. Team follows very strict guidelines regarding dive depths and durations. Each individual’s health and condition is considered prior to establishing a treatment protocol.
History of Seizures
HBO therapy may lower the seizure threshold and it may be appropriate to increase medication for patients treated for epilepsy.
With the use of oxygen in any form there is always an increased risk of fire. We adhere to strict safety regulations to minimize and prevent
hyperbaric related fires.
Individuals with cataracts may experience accelerated maturation of the cataract, but HBO treatment will not cause cataract formation.
Transient Changes in Vision
These are minor and occur only in those individuals who have had large numbers of treatments. Vision should return to pre-treatment level approximately eight weeks after the cessation of therapy.
Some people may feel some fatigue following hyperbaric treatment, which will resolve over time.
There have been very occasional reports of patients with optic neuritis having deterioration in vision and HBOT should be used with caution in this condition.