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Inside Hyperbaric Chamber

Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber – An Alternate Lifeline For Autistic Kids and Their Parents

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, also known as HBOT, has been used as a therapeutic recourse for quite some time now. Initially, Hyperbaric oxygen chamber was used to treat only decompression illness in deep sea divers, arterial gas, embolism, healing of problem wounds, and more. However, since 2004, HBOT has been successfully used to treat individuals with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder, commonly known as autism, is an umbrella term used to refer to a wide range of neuro-developmental ailments, which generally cause social, behavioral, as well as communicative challenges for an individual. Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, Cerebral Palsy, and many more such conditions have been categorized under ASD.

It has been observed that the symptoms of autism manifest mostly during the first three years of an individual’s birth and can continue till adulthood. However, despite the phenomenal progress in the medical field, the definitive cause of ASD is yet to be known. Researchers are of the view that a number of factors, both environmental and genetic, are responsible for the infliction of this condition.

However, the situation has worsened in the past few years as the growth rate of ASD has increased by more than 600 percent. As a matter of fact, United States is one of the worst-hit places in the world with 1 autistic child in every 91 children. While more than 100 treatments are used to counter autism in kids, HBO therapy is gaining popularity among the autistic community.

The Working Mechanism of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

HBO therapy came to the fore in the 1930’s when hyperbaric chambers were used by Behnke and Shaw to treat decompression sickness. However, in the 21st century, this treatment modality was used to address a number of other neurological conditions, diseases, and ailments, including autism.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy takes place inside a sealed hyperbaric chamber. The compartment is then filled with 21 to 100 percent pure oxygen at an air pressure greater than one atm (atmosphere), depending on the severity of the patient’s condition.

The patient inhales pure oxygen during each session which continues for approximately 60 to 90 minutes so that all the fluids in the body can absorb the oxygen and deliver to the damaged tissues where blood circulation is limited. The unadulterated oxygen enhances the natural healing capabilities of the body and is a completely non-invasive form of treatment for autism.

The Importance of Hyperbaric Chamber in HBOT

The hyperbaric chamber is an essential part of HBOT. These chambers come in various sizes and types depending on the condition of the patient. There are several manufacturers in the market who offer quality hyperbaric chambers to consumers, such as the hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

All medical centers and hospitals offering HBOT to the patients use these chambers for the treatment. However, an individual can also own a chamber, such as a hyperbaric oxygen chamber with the consultation of a doctor, to continue the therapy in the confines and comforts of home.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – How Does It Benefit Autistic Children?

Although HBO therapy is gaining massive popularity among the parents and caregivers of individuals affected with autism, it is yet to receive the official approval of FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Thus, for now, HBOT is an off-label treatment which has benefited many ASD-affected individuals till date and is increasingly used as an alternative approach to counter this ailment.

Many studies and researches have observed that HBOT has been quite beneficial in resolving autism-related health conditions such as mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, inflammation, irregular blood flow, etc. The below section will explain in detail how HBOT targets each of these conditions to treat ASD in children.

  • Reduction of Oxidative Stress :

    Scientific studies looking at the benefits of HBOT for autism have found the treatment beneficial for the reduction of oxidative stress. HBOT successfully lowers oxidative stress levels in autistic children without increasing the production of reactive oxygen species. If pure oxygen is administered at a pressure of less than 2.0 ATM, the oxidative stress in children affected by autism reduces significantly.

  • Relief From Inflammation :

    Health experts have documented that there has been a significant increase in the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines after the patient was subjected to HBO therapy.

  • Boosts Mitochondrial Function :

    Although the infliction of mitochondrial function is not widespread in autistically challenged individuals, the presence has been noticed in many. Earlier the major setback was the limited number of treatment options for this condition. However, HBOT has been successful in increasing the mitochondrial function of autistic people proving to be a beneficial treatment option for this ailment.

In Conclusion:

Parents and caregivers of children affected with ASD are increasingly opting for HBOT as an alternative treatment option for this condition. They are either conducting the sessions in medical facilities or purchasing hyperbaric chambers such as the hyperbaric oxygen chamber to continue the treatment at home. Regardless, this treatment is seen as an increasingly viable option to counter this ailment.

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