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FAQs About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Person in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy chamber

How do I Find Out if HBO is for me?
If you have a wound that hasn't healed in four weeks, ask your provider. He or she will evaluate your wound and decide if HBO is right for you.
Can Someone Stay with me During HBO Treatment?
To protect the privacy of our patients, family members may not remain with you during your treatment. A waiting room is provided for their comfort. A trained staff member is always in the room during treatment. You can communicate with them at any time.
What Should I Wear?
We put safety first. We will provide you with clothing to wear during your treatment. Please do not wear any of the following items when you come to the center for HBO therapy:
  • Makeup
  • Wigs or hair pieces
  • Nail polish that has been on less than 24 hours. You may paint your nails at least 24 hours before an HBO treatment.
  • Loose fitting dentures
  • Contact lenses
  • Deodorants
  • Skin lotions
  • Perfume,cologne or aftershave
  • Jewelry, including watches or earrings
  • Hair spray or oils
You cannot have anything in your mouth such as gum, loose dentures or candy during treatment. Also, you will not be permitted to bring your cell phone into the chamber.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Treatment is different for each patient. It depends on the patient's condition and response to therapy. Most patients receive between 30 and 40 treatments.
How Long Does a Treatment Session Last?
Each treatment will last about two hours. You will receive one treatment per day, Monday through Friday. Your provider will tell you if you need more than one treatment per day.
What Should I Expect Before Treatment?
The HBO technician will take your vital signs, collect data and ask you several questions. The inside of your ears will be examined. You will be asked about your pain. If you have diabetes, your blood sugar will be checked. Safety checks will be done before each treatment.
Is HBO Painful?
HBO is not painful. At the beginning of your treatment you may feel pressure in your ears, like when you fly in a plane or drive up into the mountains. You may have to clear your ears. The HBO staff will instruct you on methods for clearing your ears:
  • Swallow
  • Yawn
  • Open and close your mouth
Let the staff know if you feel ill or if you are congested.
What Should I Tell my Provider Before I Begin HBO?
Tell your provider if you have:
  • An internal battery operated medical device such as a pacemaker or pain pump. The staff will make sure your device can be used in the chamber.
  • If you have an external battery operated medical device, it cannot go into the chamber. Your HBO physician will contact your provider for instructions on how to deal with this device.
  • Inform your HBO provider if you have ever had chemotherapy.
What if I Have Diabetes?
Your provider will discuss your blood sugar control with you. The HBO technician will check your blood sugar before and after treatment. Take your medicine as prescribed. Eat before HBO.
What if I Feel Claustrophobic?
When you are in the chamber, you can see out in all directions. If you are anxious, the provider can prescribe medicine to help you relax. You will also be able to watch TV.
Is HBO Therapy Covered by my Insurance?
Medicare has approved coverage for HBO therapy for certain types of chronic non-healing wounds. Most private insurance companies follow Medicare rules. We will review your insurance plan with you before your therapy starts to make sure you know what your costs will be.