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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber. This therapy aims to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood, allowing it to reach damaged tissues to promote healing and recovery. HBOT is used to treat various conditions, such as decompression sickness, chronic wounds, and radiation injuries, and may be covered under VA benefits for eligible veterans.

Key Takeaways

  1. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a non-invasive medical treatment that involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber, which increases the oxygen supply to the body’s tissues to promote healing and regeneration.
  2. HBOT is used for various medical conditions, including carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness, and chronic non-healing wounds. In the context of VA benefits, HBOT may be utilized as an adjunct therapy for Veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  3. Veterans may be eligible to receive HBOT through the VA healthcare system if it is deemed medically necessary and prescribed by a VA healthcare provider. It is important for Veterans to consult with their primary care physician to discuss eligibility and potential benefits of HBOT for their specific health needs.


The VA benefits term Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is important because it represents a valuable treatment option for veterans who suffer from various medical conditions, particularly those related to their service.

HBOT involves the administration of high concentrations of oxygen in a pressurized chamber, which aids in delivering more oxygen to the body’s tissues, promoting healing and reducing inflammation.

This therapy can be particularly beneficial for veterans with traumatic brain injuries, decompression sickness, chronic non-healing wounds, radiation injuries, and carbon monoxide poisoning, among others.

As a part of VA benefits, HBOT ensures that eligible service members can access this effective and potentially life-changing treatment as they work towards recovery and improved quality of life.


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) serves as a valuable therapeutic technique utilized for specific medical conditions afflicting veterans. By leveraging an environment of increased atmospheric pressure, HBOT enables patients to breathe pure oxygen, thus promoting enhanced oxygen circulation throughout the body.

As a result, the treatment accelerates natural healing processes in diseases or injuries that may not respond effectively to standard therapies. These beneficial impacts stem from the increased supply of oxygen, crucial for the repair of injured tissues, reducing inflammation and edema, and fostering the growth of new blood vessels, ultimately contributing to the rehabilitation of veterans with various health concerns.

The use of HBOT has been successfully applied to a variety of conditions, particularly beneficial to veterans, which include combat-related injuries, chronic wounds, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Among these, the improvement in traumatic brain injury patients’ outcomes highlights HBOT’s significance, as veterans suffering from service-related brain injuries often encounter challenges in finding effective treatment from traditional therapies alone.

Furthermore, HBOT has been clinically proven to alleviate symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, offering a viable avenue for optimal mental health in those affected by traumatic experiences. Overall, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy serves as a valuable complementary or alternative treatment in the landscape of VA benefits, providing veterans with an opportunity to improve their quality of life and progress towards a successful recovery.

Examples of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Treatment for Diabetic Ulcers: Veterans who are suffering from chronic non-healing diabetic ulcers can benefit from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. A real-world example is the VA Maryland Health Care System’s HBOT facility in Baltimore, where eligible veterans receive HBOT to enhance the healing process of diabetic wounds that have not responded to conventional forms of treatment.

Recovery from Radiation Injury: Veterans who have undergone radiation therapy for cancer treatment may experience negative side effects such as tissue damage. A real-world example is the HBOT unit at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System in Florida, which provides Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to treat radiation-induced injuries, such as radiation cystitis and proctitis, and to promote tissue healing and repair.

Treatment for Chronic Tinnitus: Veterans exposed to loud noises during their military service may suffer from chronic tinnitus, a persistent ringing or buzzing in the ears. A real-world example is the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System offering Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as a treatment for veterans with chronic, noise-induced tinnitus. The HBOT promotes nerve and tissue repair in the inner ear, which can help alleviate tinnitus symptoms for eligible veterans.

FAQ: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber. By increasing the level of oxygen in the body, this therapy helps to promote healing and manage various health conditions.

Are veterans eligible for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Yes, veterans can access HBOT through the VA healthcare system if their healthcare provider deems it necessary for their medical treatment. The referring provider will evaluate the veteran’s condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan, which may include HBOT.

What conditions can be treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

HBOT is used to treat various medical conditions, including non-healing wounds, chronic bone infections, radiation injury, carbon monoxide poisoning, and decompression sickness. Other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are also being researched for potential benefits from HBOT.

How does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy work?

During an HBOT session, the patient enters a pressurized chamber and breathes pure oxygen. The increased oxygen level in the chamber helps deliver more oxygen to the patient’s tissues, promoting healing and reducing inflammation. This increased oxygen delivery assists in the recovery process and can improve various physiological functions in the body.

Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy safe for veterans?

HBOT is generally considered safe under the supervision of trained healthcare professionals. However, like any medical treatment, there are potential risks and side effects. The healthcare provider overseeing the treatment will discuss any risks associated with the therapy and monitor the patient’s condition throughout the treatment to ensure safety.

How do I determine if HBOT is right for me?

If you’re a veteran interested in HBOT, consult your VA healthcare provider to discuss your medical condition and potential treatment options. Your provider will determine if HBOT could be beneficial for you based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Wound healing
  • Decompression sickness
  • Oxygen saturation
  • Barometric pressure
  • Traumatic brain injury

Sources for More Information