The evolution of hyperbaric treatment evolved some centuries back, but its clinical treatment began in the mid 1800s. Since the 1930's, hyperbaric treatment was used to treat the deep-sea divers suffering from decompression sickness. During the 1950's, several clinical trials discovered a plethora of beneficial mechanisms resulting from the exposure to hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Today, many medical researches and experiments have found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy has brought in notable improvements to some of the incurable ailments and medical conditions such as cerebral palsy and autism.
Hyperbaric treatment involves the procedure of feeding in 100% pure oxygen at a higher atmospheric pressure within a specialized chamber known as Hyperbaric Chamber. A section of medical scientists, therapists and psychologists have researched and found out that HBO therapy benefits a person by dissolving oxygen directly into the brain, plasma, and cerebrospinal fluids thus creating a multilevel effect on the central nervous system. The treatment is also found to reduce the swelling or inflammation of tissues, repair the barrier that obstructs the blood flow into the brain and stabilize cell membranes. Researches have also revealed that HBOT treatment has brought in remarkable improvements within autistic children by improving their speech and pragmatic skills, developing better social awareness as well as enhancing their immune system.
The HBOT treatment for autism needs to be carried out under the vigilance of the team of medical experts or doctors. Ideally, the patients need to visit the doctor's chamber or a therapy institute to undertake the HBOT sessions. The kind of chamber that is used in these facilities is known as Commercial hyperbaric chambers. These chambers are typically large-sized with an internal volume of over 80,000 cubic inches, a length of nine feet and with a diameter of 31 inches. These can withstand the pressures of up to 4 psi and can accommodate both an adult and child.
Commercial HBOT chambers have windows which allow the light to come in. These windows are made of double layered polycarbonate and are set so that the therapist can observe the chamber from outside. A high accuracy pressure gauge is placed on the outside for the doctors or therapists to view the pressure. This gauge automatically corrects the altitude changes and the barometric pressure to ensure a stable environment inside the chamber. There is another gauge which is placed inside the chamber which raises or lowers the pressure within it.
The hyperbaric chambers for commercial usage feature an inner and outer bag. While the inner bag is made of nylon coated by urethane, the outer bag is made of double urethane with a nylon coating of 39 ounce. It also comes with an extra-long zipper which enables the patients to enter and come off the chamber without hassle. Six stainless steel buckles feature in these chambers which can be easily opened and zipped and can be operated by the patients as well.
The oxygen inhalation process within the chamber can be done with and even without a mask. The compressor for these chambers feature filter system with multiple capabilities facilitating conformable environment within the chamber by cooling as well as taking the moisture off the air.
Generally, there are two kinds of Commercial HBOT chambers - Mono-Place Chambers, which can accommodate single person lying down and Multi-place Chambers which can hold two to ten people at a time seated inside, rather than lying down.
Apart from treating autistic conditions, hyperbaric chambers are used by the athletes, sea-divers and the high altitude mountaineers. Today, many companies manufacture the specialized chamber for hyperbaric therapy and even offer them on rent. However, the parties buying or renting specialized chambers should always seek to inspect the quality standards of these equipments and assess whether the manufacturers are reliable and trust-worthy.