Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy FAQs

When your tissue becomes injured due to a wound or infection, it may need a larger amount of oxygen to heal properly. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a new technique gaining popularity that delivers this extra level of oxygen directly into your bloodstream. 

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment that involves breathing pure oxygen in a special room or chamber. It’s mainly used in treating diving-related illnesses, but can also be used to promote healing in patients with various conditions. 

How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work for wound healing?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) exposes the body to 100% oxygen at a pressure that’s greater than normal. Since wounds need oxygen to heal completely, HBOT can assist in speeding recovery times in patients. 

Does Medicare cover hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

It depends. Medicare may cover expenses related to hyperbaric oxygen therapy in certain cases. Check with your insurance provider before having any procedure to see if you’re covered.  

What are the side effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

The immediate side effects and symptoms of hyperbaric oxygen therapy can include tiredness and lightheadedness. More serious and long-lasting side effects can include lung damage, oxygen poisoning and sinus damage. 

What can hyperbaric oxygen therapy treat?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is most commonly used to treat decompression sickness, which most often occurs in people who scuba dive. It can also be used to treat infections, air bubbles in your blood vessels and wounds from diabetes or radiation. 

How effective is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can increase the amount of oxygen your bloodstream can carry. This can promote healing and better help your body fight off infectious diseases. HBOT can be used to treat burns, vision loss and carbon monoxide poisoning. However, there’s limited evidence to suggest HBOT is effective in reversing the effects of cancer, heart disease or asthma. 

Find a Location

Mercy has clinics with hyperbaric oxygen therapy across most of our communities. 

Find a clinic near you.