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One method of HBOT involves a person receiving the treatment inside of a tube-like chamber. Some tubes are made of clear acrylic, allowing patients to see outside of the chamber.
This transparency may eliminate some of the potential anxiety a person may have of feeling trapped inside the tube.
During HBOT, a patient is instructed to lie down in the enclosed chamber and breathe the air inside the tube as the pressure is gradually increased.
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Another mode of treatment, such as that offered at Mayo Clinic, is a multiperson hyperbaric oxygen room, where oxygen is delivered via a mask or a lightweight clear hood placed over the head.
In this scenario, a person can sit or lie down in a lounge chair—there is no tube or chamber with this method.
Treatment sessions can last up to two hours. The number of treatments prescribed depends on the condition that HBOT is being used to treat.
For example, for a condition such as carbon monoxide poisoning, the Mayo Clinic suggests around 20 to 40 sessions. This time span will vary with other conditions that are being treated.
There is no way of controlling how much oxygen gets absorbed into the body. HBOT is a way to hypothetically turn up the volume of oxygen absorption by increasing the atmospheric pressure.
The pressure inside the chamber is normally two to three times greater than outside air pressure, which means patients are inhaling 100% oxygen.