Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Long Covid

Our body’s tissues need oxygen to function. The air we breathe is 21% oxygen.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing 100% (pure) oxygen while in a special space called a hyperbaric chamber. The air pressure inside is raised to a level that is higher than normal air pressure. The increased air pressure in the chamber helps the lungs collect more oxygen. Getting more oxygen to the tissues that need it can help the body heal. HBOT is well known for treating scuba and deep-sea divers affected by the rapid change in pressure around them. HBOT is also used to treat a variety of health problems including anemia, burns, skin infections and wounds.
HBOT is being studied for other conditions, including long COVID-19, where symptoms persist 12 weeks after the initial infection. Common symptoms are fatigue, post-exertional malaise and cognitive dysfunction. The underlying mechanisms are unknown, although several hypotheses exist, with chronic inflammation as a common denominator. In prospective studies, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been suggested to be effective for the treatment of similar syndromes such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
HBOT is thought to provide anti-inflammatory and anti-proinflammatory effects likely to reduce the overexuberant immune response common to COVID-19. Unlike steroids, it exerts these effects without immune suppression. We are pleased to offer HBOT sessions at our Brooklyn location. Please call to inquire about this therapeutic and adjunctive treatment.
–Alice Wong, NP