Hyperbaric treatment for stroke recovery or hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), utilizes oxygen to revitalize cells damaged or injured as a result of a stroke. Strokes are known to have several long-term effects such as issues speaking or pronouncing words, difficulty swallowing or manipulating the throat, memory loss, changes in mood and/or personality, paralysis, challenges with balance and coordination, fluctuations in body temperature, irregular cardiovascular and respiratory functions, and difficulty seeing. Hyperbaric treatment delivers oxygen throughout the body to repair damages such as these and more.
Hyperbaric treatment for stroke recovery uses oxygen to reawaken cells in the brain and other tissue damaged by oxygen deprivation as a result of a stroke. During a stroke, the brain can become starved for oxygen. As a result, brain cells begin to become damaged, and in some cases, die. In fact, a stroke patient typically suffers an increasing amount of physical harm the longer oxygen deprivation occurs.
During hyperbaric oxygen treatment, an individual is exposed to higher concentrations of oxygen within a pressurized chamber. The chamber works by increasing air pressure, which can assist an individual in getting more oxygen into their lungs, and as a result, more oxygen throughout their entire body. Injured tissue needs oxygen, as it is essential to the healing process. Hyperbaric treatment delivers oxygen throughout the body to positively encourage this process.
Hyperbaric treatment for stroke recovery is known to successfully aid in reviving cells, and subsequently improving impaired skills and overall physical function following a stroke. Hyperbaric treatment is effective for stroke recovery because it releases oxygen-rich blood into the brain via the circulatory system. Often, brain cells become damaged during a stroke. Hyperbaric treatment combats the results of this by exposing the body to elevated levels of oxygen. The intention of this is to stimulate brain activity or neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is a word to describe all those new connections your brain can make, which plays a big role in learning new things or how to do something; as well as recovering after an injury.
When brain injury results from a stroke, in some instances, brain neurons are still functioning and alive, but they are essentially slowed down or asleep. Hyperbaric treatment can be particularly effective in waking these neurons up. When the brain is recovering from a stroke, it requires an increased amount of oxygen to get the brain’s cells fully functioning again. Sources report that on average, the body is only capable of taking in around 20% of the oxygen that exists within it. However, hyperbaric treatment aims to elevate these levels, increasing the rate of healing and regeneration.