Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing almost pure oxygen in a special room or small chamber.
Its main use is to treat diving-related illness, but it may enhance healing in people with various other conditions.
In 1662, a physician built the first hyperbaric chamber — a sealed room with a series of bellows and valves. The belief was that pressure could help treat certain respiratory diseases.
In the 1940s, HBOT became standard treatment for military divers in the United States.
However, while there are around 1,200 HBOT centers in the country, only two are mainly dedicated to treating diving injuries, according to the Divers Alert Network (DAN).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved HBOT as a treatment for 13 conditions, but some people are calling for further approvals. Find out more about the benefits and risks of HBOT here.
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