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How hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help those suffering from sleep apnea

Respiratory Conditions | Published: July 21st 2023, 04:12PM

Learn how hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help with sleep apnea


It’s estimated that 30 million people in the United States have sleep apnea and only 6 million are diagnosed with the condition. [1] 


With a considerably high number of Americans suffering from this disorder, the numbers continue to grow as more people seek treatment. Those suffering from the symptoms of sleep apnea but have yet to speak with a doctor should be aware of the health risks if left untreated. Continue reading to learn more about sleep apnea and the risks, as well as the benefits hyperbaric oxygen therapy has for sleep apnea.


What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that is characterized by pauses in breathing while sleeping. Although this is a common disorder, a fair amount of people have yet to get diagnosed. If left untreated, this disorder can cause a wide range of health issues such as high blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and stroke. [2]


What are the types of sleep apnea?

The main types of sleep apnea include:


  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – which is the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax and block the flow of air into the lungs.
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA) – which occurs when the brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  • Treatment-emergent central sleep apnea – also known as complex sleep apnea, which happens when someone has OSA — diagnosed with a sleep study — that converts to CSA when receiving therapy for OSA. [2]


What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

When our bodies don’t receive oxygen properly, this can create a range of uncomfortable symptoms that can disrupt someone’s day-to-day life and overall well-being. The typical symptoms of sleep apnea may vary from person to person. The most common symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep — which would be reported by another person
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep, known as insomnia
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, known as hypersomnia
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake
  • Irritability [2]


What are the treatment options for sleep apnea?

There are multiple treatment options available including continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which is a face mask that delivers air pressure through a mask while you sleep. [2] Also, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used as a treatment option due to the increased levels of oxygen received within the hyperbaric chamber. 


How can hyperbaric oxygen therapy help with sleep apnea?

While hyperbaric oxygen therapy is still being researched and studied, scientists have found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy has promising results for patients suffering from disorders such as sleep apnea. 


In fact, hyperbaric chamber therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea by reducing inflammation in the airways. Inflammation can cause the airways to narrow, making it difficult to breathe during sleep. By reducing inflammation, hyperbaric chamber therapy can help improve airflow and reduce the frequency and severity of sleep apnea episodes.[3]


We’re here to support you.

At Hyperbaric Healing Treatment Center, we offer a caring and comfortable environment where we prioritize you and your healing journey. We heal our patients with all types of conditions from sleep apnea and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) to diabetes and cancer.


Begin your healing journey at our spa-like medical centers, conveniently located in southwest Orlando and in New Smyrna Beach. 


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



1: American Medical Association | What doctors wish patients knew about sleep apnea

2: MayoClinic | Sleep Apnea

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