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The powerful benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for TBI warriors

Athletic Performance, Brain Injury, Healthy Aging, Veteran Care | Published: May 10th 2022, 09:47AM

Learn how the healing power of oxygen can help patients recover from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)


With traumatic brain injury (TBI) being a major cause of disability and mortality across the country, the most recent data shows that over 223,000 people were hospitalized in 2019 for TBI-related issues in the United States. [1]

Continue reading to learn all about TBIs and how hyperbaric oxygen therapy can provide patients who are suffering with immense relief from debilitating symptoms.


What is a traumatic brain injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a broad term that covers different types of brain injuries that vary in severity from a mild concussion to severe disability-inducing damage. [1,2] TBI damage can be focused on one area of the brain or diffuse to multiple areas depending on the type and severity of the trauma. [2]

TBIs are categorized as being mild, moderate, or severe depending on the effect of the injury on brain function, but a mild traumatic brain injury can still cause serious damage that necessitates an accurate diagnosis and curated care. [3]


What causes traumatic brain injury? 

A TBI is usually caused by a sudden, external traumatic injury to the head or body from:

  • Falls from a bed, ladder, or down stairs (most common in older adults and young children).
  • Collisions involving cars, motorcycles, bicycles, or other modes of transportation. 
  • Violent events such as gunshot wounds, domestic violence, and other assaults.
  • Sports injuries, especially for athletes in high-impact sports like boxing, football, and hockey. 
  • Explosive blasts or other combat injuries in veterans and active-duty military personnel. [3]

Given these causes, the groups of people most at risk of TBI include:

  • Children, especially newborns–4 years old
  • Young adults, especially 15–24 years old
  • Older adults aged 60+
  • Males in any age group [3]


What are some characteristics of a traumatic brain injury?

Appearing both immediately and days or weeks later, a TBI causes a wide variety of physical and psychological symptoms in teenagers and adults that vary depending on the severity of the trauma, but can include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or sleepiness 
  • Speech issues
  • Dizziness or poor balance 
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Loss of consciousness from a few seconds to several hours 
  • Memory or concentration issues 
  • Mood changes or swings 
  • Depressed or anxious feelings 
  • Changes in sleep patterns [3]


What are the treatment options for traumatic brain injury?

The treatments for TBI greatly differ depending on the severity of the injury with mild TBI requiring the least amount of intervention, expected to gradually get better over time with rest and over-the-counter pain relievers. [3]

As for patients with moderate to severe TBI, medications and surgery may be needed to limit secondary or additional brain damage, and most people will need some form of rehabilitation to get back to their normal day-to-day routines. [3]

The right rehab program varies for each patient, but may include a team made up of a psychiatrist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech and language therapist, and traumatic brain injury nurse specialist. [3]


How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy for TBI help patients recover?

Research studies and clinical trials have been conducted for years to assess the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in minimizing or eliminating symptoms for patients suffering from mild to severe TBI.

Many researchers have found promising results with recent studies focusing on the ability of HBOT to heal patients with severe TBI.

One randomized trial found that HBOT may promote recovery of neurological functioning and improve cognitive functioning in severe TBI patients as evidenced by improvements in the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and U.S. National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores after treatment. [4] 

Another study found that HBOT significantly accelerated the recovery of a patient with severe cognitive impairment after a TBI during late stages of the rehabilitation process. [5]


Interested in learning more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy for TBI?
Please visit our research library to view studies on the topic under ‘Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other Neurological disorders.’


It’s time to start your healing journey!

At our medical centers in Orlando and New Smyrna Beach, our Hyperbaric Healing Treatment Center team is proud to have witnessed great success in helping patients with traumatic brain injury through an individualized regimen of hyperbaric treatments.

We’ve specifically treated many veterans suffering from TBI or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that experienced significant improvements in their overall health and well-being after HBOT. Although regimen can vary depending on the individual patient profile, we generally follow standard TBI protocol of 40 HBOT sessions delivered at 1.5 to 2.0 ATA.

“Our veterans get a SPECT brain scan prior to undergoing their first treatment to confirm injury and then again after all of their treatments to evaluate the results,” explains Erika Jordan, hyperbaric director and founder of Hyperbaric Healing Treatment Center. “All of the post-treatment SPECT scans I’ve seen showed improvements and the patients self-reported their symptoms as dramatically improved or even eliminated.”

If you’re concerned about paying for HBOT treatments, we offer a variety of discounted out-of-pocket packages to our patients. We have also worked with two different nonprofits in the past, The 22 Project and The HOW Foundation, who have covered the cost of hyperbaric treatments for veterans who were suffering.


If you or a loved one is looking to heal better and faster from a TBI, we hope to see you soon!

Our trained, caring team of hyperbaric specialists are ready to answer any questions you may have before your treatments! We welcome you to contact us today.



1: CDC | Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion

2: Johns Hopkins Medicine | Traumatic Brain Injury 

3: Mayo Clinic | Traumatic Brain Injury 

4: National Center for Biotechnology Information | Hyperbaric oxygen for severe traumatic brain injury: a randomized trial

5: Wiley | Late application of hyperbaric oxygen therapy during the rehabilitation of a patient with severe cognitive impairment after a traumatic brain injury

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