Guidelines to Follow Before Buying a Hyperbaric Chamber for Treating Autism

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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has been a popular form of alternative treatment since centuries. HBOT therapy was adapted as a viable clinical treatment in the latter part of the 19th century. In the years that followed, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy was introduced as a treatment option to the military wherein hyperbaric oxygen chambers were used to relieve deep sea divers of decompression illness. Currently Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or HBOT therapy is a favored treatment for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Listed below are a few guidelines that will give our readers a better perspective about the functions and the usage of Hyperbaric Chambers while undertaking Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Autism.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and how is it administered?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or HBOT therapy, as it is commonly referred to, is a process wherein an individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is placed in a high compression chamber and administered pure oxygen at enhanced levels that range from 1.5 to around 3 times higher than the normal atmospheric pressure. The chamber has a hard exterior shell that is equipped with a pressure gauge, oxygen cylinders with control valves and an airlocked entry hatch for supplying essential requirements.

This treatment is believed to provide immense relief to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder as the enhanced oxygen supply is believed to saturate into the blood stream and reach the affected body tissues or organs in the farthest parts of the human body. HBOT Therapy can be administered either at a medical facility through a high pressure hyperbaric chamber or at home through a mild hyperbaric chamber under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.

What is the difference between a High-Pressure Hyperbaric Chamber (HBOT) and a Mild Hyperbaric Chamber (mHBOT) ?

The difference lies in the pressure of oxygen levels that are administered to the autistic individual. In a mild hyperbaric chamber, the pressure of the oxygen levels administered are lower and do not exceed 1.3 atm or 4 psi whereas in a high pressure hyperbaric chamber, the oxygen pressure levels can be prescribed to levels way above 1.5 atm.

How do you choose the right Hyperbaric Chamber?

The choice of the required hyperbaric chamber depends on the preference and comfort of the concerned user. The mild hyperbaric chambers or soft chambers as they are popularly known, are portable, easy to use and are best suited for home therapy.

High pressure hyperbaric chambers are sturdy steel vessels, that are also known as hard hyperbaric chambers and are larger in size. These chambers are more advanced and predominantly installed in medical facilities such as clinics and hospitals.

The individual with autism can purchase either of these chambers depending on the budget and user feasibility in accordance with a medical professional’s recommendation.

What is the prescribed frequency of HBOT therapy?

The Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is prescribed only after a thorough assessment of the autistic individual undertaken by a qualified medical professional. The normal course of treatment that is recommended to an individual with ASD is two sessions per day, for five days a week, and the result of the therapy can be reviewed after completion of 40 sessions.

What are the standard components supplied with the Hyperbaric Chamber?

The Hyperbaric Chamber usually comes fitted with an internal steel frame, a quality mattress with the requisite air compressors, and other essential components that are customised as per the size of the individual and prescribed usage of the unit.

The Oxygen Concentrators have to be bought separately as per the prescription issued by the concerned medical professional.

What are the standard prerequisites for maintaining a Hyperbaric Chamber?

The maintenance of the Hyperbaric Chamber is relatively easy. The interior as well as the exterior chamber can be dry wiped with a cloth or by using mild soap solution mixed with anti-allergens to ensure that the compartment is sterile and germ free. The chamber can be operated once it is completely dry. The other components and soft furnishings can be cleaned as per the procedures specified in the manual provided by the manufacturer.

What is the standard duration of a single HBOT Therapy session?

A regular session of HBOT therapy is conducted for approximately 90 minutes.

Are the Hyperbaric Chambers comfortable for the user?

The Hyperbaric chambers are fully equipped with air filters that ensure proper ventilation right through the session and keep the chamber fresh and odour free. The users are also advised to refrain from using strong perfumes or smoking prior to commencemnt of the session.  It is recommended that the individuals abstain from wearing tight fitting clothes and instead wear light, comfortable attire to avoid any discomfort while undegoing the therapy. All these measures ensure a clean and comfortable environment inside the chamber.

What is an Oxygen Concentrator and is it a mandatory component in a Hyperbaric Chamber?

An Oxygen Concentrator is an external component that will assist in streaming a high density of oxygen-enriched ambient air supply into the hyperbaric chamber, depending on the condition of the individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

However, the Oxygen Concentrator is not a mandatory requirement for a hyperbaric chamber and the parameters to increase or decrease the density of the oxygen-enriched ambient air supply is at the sole discretion of the medical professional prescribing the HBOT therapy.

Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy safe for the young and old? Are there any risks associated with HBOT Therapy?

There have been no known reports of HBOT Therapy causing any side-effects, risks or damage to young or aged individuals with Autism.

Recent medical reports suggest that individuals with autism are believed to have shown remarkable improvements in their cognitive functions, speech, and motoring skills after undergoing HBOT Therapy sessions on a regular basis. HBOT therapy is also believed to have slowed down the aging process by controlling cell death or apoptosis as suggested by research experts in recent times.

All these factors highlight the ease of buying as well as using Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers, thereby making HBOT therapy the preferred choice of alternative treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder across all geographies.

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