Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) was once used solely for divers suffering from decompression sickness and those with smoke inhalation. In the last decade or so the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy scope has broadened, the medical procedure has been used for patients with non-healing diabetic wounds, pre/post cosmetic surgery, non-healing surgical wounds, radiation damage from cancer treatments, and LYME Disease.

What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne illness in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2018 Lyme was in the top 5 “Nationally Notifiable diseases”. Deer ticks are responsible for human infection of the disease. As they bite the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted into the victim’s bloodstream.

Those with lyme disease experience symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, and a bull’s-eye rash referred to as erythema migrans. The infection can develop into serious debilitating health issues leading to muscle and joint aches, cognitive disorders, sleep disturbance and affecting the heart and nervous system.

Ticks are most active on Long Island in the warmer months between Late March and September which is when you are more susceptible to being bitten (you can still be bitten in the cooler months).

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment of Patients with Lyme Disease
Patients diagnosed early with Lyme Disease by a mainstream practitioner are typically prescribed oral antibiotics, recovering quickly and in most cases completely. According to the CDC, there are approximately 10-20% of patients who continue to suffer from recurrent or persistent symptoms.

Using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Treating Lyme Disease
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy involves a patient inhaling pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The air pressure is three times greater than normal air pressure allowing your lungs to take in much more oxygen. When you breathe in oxygen in a normal setting, it is transported through the body by red blood cells. During Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, the 100% oxygen is absorbed into the body’s fluids, plasma, central nervous system fluids, the lymph and bones.

Some of conditions are covered by insurance for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy include diabetic wounds, radiation tissue damage, skin grafts, smoke inhalation, decompression, and severe anemia. While there is success with Lyme Disease it is currently not a covered condition.

During treatment in an Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy chamber, patients often experience the change in pressure similar to that as an airplane on decent. The treatment time and sessions required is generally determined by the condition presented and how well the patient responds to their therapy. Treatments are generally are up to 1.5 hours.

There are plenty of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy centers offering treatment in the United States, but not in every city or town. Patients are generally accepted for treatment either by self-referral or by a physician referral particularly those with a condition which is covered by insurance. Experimental treatments, such as Lyme Disease, which is not covered by insurance typically costs $200-$300 per treatment.

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Lyme Disease Increases on Long Island