Which Chamber is Right For You?
There are a number of characteristics that differentiate hyperbaric oxygen chambers; HBOT (Steel enclosed chamber or hard shell) and mHBOT (Mild Hyperbaric Therapy, portable soft inflatable chamber) including chamber design, functionality and price.
There are two main types of Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers:
- Hard shell chambers pressurised with or delivering up to 100% medical grade Oxygen often found in hospitals and larger medical establishments. These hard shelled chambers can sustain pressures exceeding 2.0 ATA (Atmospheres). People using these chambers often travel to a site for treatment and pay for scheduled sessions.
- Mild Hyperbaric (mHBOT) soft shelled portable chambers are often found in smaller clinics and homes, they are sealed with a safe zipper mechanism which can be opened or closed from inside the chamber, and some are reinforced with straps. They can be pressurised between 1.3 – 1.7 ATA. There are over 15,000 of these soft chambers used across the US today, and the number continues to grow. Chambers come in different shapes and sizes, although the cylindrical shape is most used as it is the perfect shape for pressurisation without stressing the material. There are varying levels of quality and pricing that reflect this.
Hyperbaric World Services has the resources to recommend the right chamber spec for your needs whether for home or business.
Simply guide us by answering the 10 questions below and our resident Doctors and Hyperbaric Experts will recommend the chamber choices, prices and offers that will best suit your needs.
- Is the chamber for Home or Business Use?
- Is it for Health, Beauty or Fitness?
- Will it have more than 1 person in at a time, e.g. 2 adults or 1 Adult and 1 child?
- Do you want the choice to be able to try the chamber first?
- Weight and height of the person going in the chamber?
- What are the 3 main reasons for using the chamber?
- Who or where did you find out about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
- Which country and city would the chamber be used in?
- How old are the people who will be using the chamber?
- Do you have a doctor’s prescription, necessary to go in a hyperbaric chamber?
There are basically two types of chambers: hard shell and soft shell portable chambers.
The main differences between the two are the atmospheric pressure, delivery of Oxygen, portability and price.
Hard Shell Chamber Soft Shell Portable Chamber
HBOT (Hard Shelled Chambers) are cleared for the following uses:
- Air and gas embolism
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Enhancement of healing in diabetically derived illness
- Exceptional blood loss (anemia)
- Intracraniel abscess
- Clostridial myositis and myonecrosis (gangrene)
- Crush injuries
- Compartment syndrome
- Decompression sickness
- Necrotising soft tissue infections
- Osteomyelitis (refactory)
- Delayed radiation injury
- Skin grafts and flaps
- Thermal burns
- Cyanide poisoning
Although HBOT should not be considered as a complete treatment plan without a medical prescription and consultation, the fact is that the addition of hyperbaric therapy in treatment of non-approved conditions has advanced physical progress in thousands of individuals.
100% Oxygen environment delivered through medical grade oxygen tanks.
Some hard shelled chambers are pressurised with 100% oxygen, however due to Oxygen’s increased flammability, hyperbaric chambers should always be kept in an environment free of open flame.
While the chances of the chamber combusting are extremely low, an electrical spark or exposure to fire could cause fire inside the chamber.
Ambient Air Environment with oxygen delivered through medical grade oxygen tanks
To avoid having the hard shelled chamber pressurised with 100% oxygen, hoods are typically worn to increase the patient’s exposure to a stream of pure oxygen breathed in on a supply and demand basis.
Air is continuously moving in and out through the chamber so there is not a build up of extra Oxygen inside the chamber.
mHBOT (Soft shelled chambers) are cleared for Altitude Sickness
Although mHBOT is not approved for treatment of conditions like Alzheimer’s, stroke or Autism, MS, Spinal injuries and depression, the absence of an endorsement does not mean mHBOT cannot provide a beneficial outcome for individuals living with these conditions.
In recent years there have been numerous studies confirming the benefits of regular dives (daily) in soft shelled chambers at 1.3 ATA (Atmospheres). You can see those studies here.
Over 500 American NFL professional players alone have used the soft, portable chambers to accelerate the repair of injuries with the added benefit of being able to travel with these chambers to games.
Oxygen with Ambient air (approx 80% hydrogen, 20% oxygen) is delivered by a compressor to the soft shelled chambers.
Over 90% Oxygen delivered through a concentrator
However an Oxygen concentrator can be added, this is an electronic device that takes in ambient air, filters out the nitrogen molecules, and delivers purified oxygen through a transparent mask (over the nose and mouth) or nasal cannula, increasing oxygen delivery to over 90%.
Mobile phones and electrical equipment can be safely used in an mHBOT environment
Over the past 10 years there has been far more research and studies into the benefits of the soft shelled chambers, far more affordable then the hard shell and with rental options, allowing a far greater number of people to have access to this emerging therapy.
Considering buying a Hyperbaric Chamber? You can download one of our valuable Free Buyers Guides here.
If you have a question about Hyperbaric Chambers or Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, visit our Ask the Experts page. Your questions will be answered by one of our panel of experts, which includes and is led by Dr Zayd Ratansi, ND – a world leading authority on Hyperbaric Medicine.