How Much Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Costs
When I got my scuba diving certification, I learned about hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and its many benefits beyond helping people recover from the decompression sickness they can get while diving. I decided to look into it more to learn about its availability and how much it costs.
So, how much does hyperbaric oxygen therapy cost? Hyperbaric oxygen therapy costs anywhere from $85 to $450 per treatment. If you need HBOT for a medical condition, you will likely need 20-30 HBOT treatments, which results in an overall cost of $1,700 to $13,500.
The variation in the cost of HBOT depends on many factors. In this blog post, we’ll examine and discuss in the detail the cost and the factors that affect it, as well as HBOT’s benefits and risks. So keep reading to find all of this out and more!
The Cost of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can vary wildly in cost. The main factor that determines the price is whether you’re getting HBOT for medical reasons or recreational or personal purposes.
The average cost per HBOT treatment is $85-$450. For people who need HBOT for medical purposes, such as to heal from an injury or to recover from surgery, the overall cost of treatment can be $1,700 to $13,500. This is because it often takes 20 to 30 HBOT sessions to treat the condition.
However, if you’re getting HBOT as an FDA-approved treatment for a medical condition such as decompression sickness or to heal a wound, your insurance will usually cover at least part of the cost.
For those who are using HBOT for personal reasons (many use it as an anti-aging measure, for example), the costs of each session can still vary wildly, but fewer sessions are required, bringing the overall cost down. In addition, you can have your HBOT sessions in less high-tech environments than hospitals, which can also lower your treatment costs.
Other Factors Affecting the Cost of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
A few of the other factors that can affect the cost of HBOT include:
1. The Type of Chamber Used
There are two types of chambers typically used for HBOT — hard-shell and soft-shell — and the costs associated with each can vary. Hard-shell chambers tend to be more expensive than soft-shell chambers and are often the type of hyperbaric chamber found in hospitals.
2. The Location of the Treatment Center
If you live in a rural area, the nearest HBOT center might be several hours away. This can increase the cost of treatment, as you’ll have to factor in travel time and expenses. In addition, some areas of the country may simply have lower prices than other areas due to fluctuations in the cost of living or the cost of getting a hyperbaric chamber.
3. Whether You’re Receiving Group or Individual Treatments
Group HBOT sessions are typically less expensive than individual sessions.
4. The Length of Each Session
The average HBOT session lasts about 90 minutes, but the length of each treatment can vary depending on the condition being treated. Shorter sessions are typically less expensive than longer ones.
The Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
While the cost of HBOT can vary, there’s no denying the many potential benefits of this therapy. Some of the most well-known benefits of HBOT include:
– Treating Decompression Sickness
HBOT is often used to treat decompression sickness, a condition that can occur when divers ascend too quickly from the depths of the ocean. The sudden change in pressure can cause nitrogen bubbles to form in the body, which can lead to joint pain, paralysis, and even death.
– Speeding Up the Healing Process for Wounds and Injuries
One of the most common reasons people receive HBOT is to speed up the healing process for wounds or injuries. Studies have shown that HBOT can help improve blood flow to the wounded area, which in turn helps promote healing.
– Reducing Inflammation
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has also been shown to help reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can be beneficial for a variety of conditions such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease as well as overall health.
– Improving Cognitive Function
A growing body of evidence suggests that HBOT can also help improve cognitive function in people with certain conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury.
– Slowing Aging
Some people use HBOT as an anti-aging measure, as it’s been shown to help improve collagen production and skin elasticity.
Risks of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Like any medical treatment, there are certain risks and side effects that come with using HBOT, which is why you need a prescription from a doctor in order to use it to treat medical conditions. Some of the risks associated with HBOT include:
– Ear Pain
One of the most common side effects of HBOT is ear pain, which can occur as a result of the changing pressure inside the chamber. This pain is usually temporary and can be relieved by yawning, swallowing, or chewing gum.
– Sinus Pain
Sinus pain is another common side effect of HBOT, and it’s often caused by the same thing as ear pain (the changing pressure inside the chamber). However, some people may also experience sinus pain as a result of an infection. If you have an infection, your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics before you begin HBOT.
– Temporary Vision Problems
Some people may experience temporary vision problems after HBOT, such as blurriness or trouble seeing at night. These problems are usually temporary and will resolve on their own. However, if you have diabetes, you should be aware that HBOT can cause an increase in blood sugar levels.
Because hyperbaric oxygen chambers are small and enclosed, some people may experience claustrophobia (a fear of enclosed spaces) during treatment. If you think you may have claustrophobia, your doctor can prescribe medication to help you relax during treatment.
– Worsened Heart Arrhythmia:
In rare cases, HBOT can worsen heart arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat). If you have a heart condition, your doctor will monitor you closely during the treatment.
In conclusion, there are many potential benefits of HBOT, as you can see. If you’re considering this therapy, be sure to speak with your doctor and your local hyperbaric oxygen therapy specialist to see if it’s right for you. Overall, the risks associated with HBOT are relatively rare and mild. However, it’s still important to speak with your doctor before beginning therapy to make sure it’s right for you.
Does insurance cover hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
Most insurance companies will cover at least a portion of the cost of HBOT, as it’s considered a medically necessary treatment for certain conditions. however, coverage varies from company to company, so it’s important to check with your insurer to see how much they’ll cover. If you’re using HBOT for non-medical purposes, insurance usually won’t cover that.
Do you need a prescription to use hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
In most cases, you’ll need a prescription from a doctor to use HBOT. However, there are some cases where hyperbaric oxygen therapy is available without a prescription. For example, some spas offer “recovery chambers” that allow people to experience the benefits of HBOT even if they don’t have a medical condition.
Where can I get hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
There are a few different places you can get HBOT. In most cases, you’ll go to a hospital or special hyperbaric oxygen therapy center for treatment. However, there are also portable hyperbaric oxygen chambers that can be used in chiropractors’ offices, spas, or even in your home.