Oxygen is probably the most fundamental building block necessary for health, and it’s certainly the one without which we’d die quickest. Individual tissues will become infected and die for lack of oxygen, too—which can occur with poor blood flow. With just suboptimal oxygen levels, you’ll feel fatigued, lethargic, and short of breath. 

Oxygen as a therapy is usually indicated when blood oxygen levels are low (below 75 mmHg), which can occur with a variety of conditions affecting the lungs. Delivery mechanisms include oxygen gas, liquid oxygen, or oxygen concentrators, and these can be prescribed by your doctor, if indicated.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Then there’s hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). In an HBOT chamber, air pressure is three to four times higher than normal. This compression essentially “supersaturates” the blood with oxygen, giving it more oxygen than it could grab onto under normal atmospheric pressure. 

Because injuries require oxygen to heal and HBOT therapy increases the amount of oxygen delivered by the same amount of blood, HBOT therapy is indicated (and generally insurance-approved) for sudden severe injuries, such as burns, crush injuries, sudden deafness or sudden vision loss, radiation injury, non-healing local infections and diabetic ulcers. 

HBOT and Biotoxin Illnesses

HBOT therapy is considered helpful for local infections… but what about chronic systemic infections, such as biotoxin illnesses (mold and Lyme Disease)?

Officially there still isn’t a great deal of data, but this small study suggests that HBOT can be effective for treating chronic fungal infections.

I also haven’t found much in the literature regarding its efficacy for Lyme Disease, beyond this case study.

That said, clinically I have found HBOT to be useful as an adjunctive therapy, particularly in treating chronic Lyme–though, like most effective therapies for Lyme, it usually causes Herxheimer (die-off) responses. I suspect it would also be useful for other tenacious organisms, such as mycoplasma and other Lyme coinfections.

HBOT Treatments

Sessions can range from thirty minutes to two hours. For chronic conditions, typically 20 to 40 treatments are required.