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Helping Stroke Victims Recover with Hyperbaric Therapy

· HBOT, Stroke · Comments Off on Helping Stroke Victims Recover with Hyperbaric Therapy

HBOT Enables Stroke Sufferers to Reverse Symptoms and Renew Lives

Many of my patients have heard how I first stumbled on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) while researching treatments that could help a family member recover after they’d suffered a stroke. Was I skeptical? You bet I was. How could lying in a sealed chamber while breathing in pure oxygen at varying sea-level pressures possibly help stroke victims? But the more I researched, the more I became convinced of the amazing power that HBOT has to heal.

It took me a while to convince some of my family members that we should try the treatment, but I’m so glad I kept pestering them. I saw with my own eyes the difference it made to the life of my relative who suffered the stroke. Since then, I’ve been a complete believer. And after seeing success with many thousands of folks who’ve walked through our Palm Harbor, Florida Center’s door, my enthusiasm for what HBOT can do for stroke victims has only grown. But enough about me! How does lying comfortably in a state-of-the-art sealed chamber while breathing pure oxygen help those who’ve had strokes? Here’s how.

Strokes happen when normal blood circulation and oxygen within the brain gets cut off causing brain tissues to stop functioning. This might happen as the result of a blood clot or cerebral hemorrhage, for example. When people get strokes, their brain neurons quickly die off as these begin starving for oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy vastly increases oxygen supply to a stroke victim’s fluids and tissues, helping to repair and revive their afflicted body and brain cells.

Depending on which area of their brain has been oxygen-starved, one stroke victim’s symptoms could vary quite widely from another’s. Common symptoms include feeling weak or numb in the arms, legs or face. Some stroke victims could find their limbs get rigid or spastic. Others may find their balance gets impaired or they have double vision. Still others lose the ability to swallow, speak or comprehend others. It’s also common to complain of memory loss, trouble with thinking, and mood changes. Personalities can change quite dramatically, too. We have seen improvements to all of these conditions with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

HBOT works by improving blood flow to a stroke patient’s damaged brain tissues. We call the area of dead brain tissue resulting from blood and oxygen starvation an infarct. How well a stroke victim can recover with hyperbaric treatments (or any other therapy) depends on a number of factors: where the infarct is located, how big it is, and how well the penumbra has been preserved. The penumbra is the area between damaged brain tissue and the part of the brain that remains intact. And while HBOT cannot revive dead tissue, the penumbra contains sleeping brain cells that can be reawakened if they are bathed with high concentrations of 02 that bring vital nutrients to the area. When this happens, brain and body functions also begin to improve.

Here at the National Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Center, we also offer treatments to supplement and enhance HBOT’s effects. These may include prescription medications and physical therapy. During the course of treatment sessions, we frequently see patients progress from being wheelchair bound to walking with assistance – or even unassisted. Some patients find their slurred speech improves so much that they’re able to return to their previous jobs. Each improvement gives us and our stroke patients and families every reason to celebrate!

As part of a multi-pronged therapy approach, hyperbaric oxygen treatments can significantly improve the daily lives of those who have suffered a stroke. We’d be happy to provide a personalized assessment with neurologist, Dr. Allan Spiegel to determine if you would benefit from HBOT treatments. In cases where HBOT is not covered by insurance, we will go over ways to make treatments more affordable. To schedule your appointment  call 727-787-7077.