Frequently Asked Questions
The Basics of HBOT
What is HBOT?
HBOT stands for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Watch this video to find out more….
How long has HBOT been around?
If you’re like me you’ll be quite surprised to know it’s been around for about 400 years – but it became more popular around the time the Brooklyn Bridge was being constructed in NY in the 1870’s and 80’s. You got it right – the 1870’s. So it’s been around a lot longer than most people would imagine – click here to find out more. The workers who became sick with “the bends” were treated with Oxygen therapy in a Hyperbaric Chamber when the supervisors realized why so many of their men were getting sick.
Are there side effects of HBOT?
Yes, but they are usually mild. Ear pressure/popping similar but more pronounced to what you would feel on a plane is the most common one. Learning to equalize the pressure in your ear canal will quickly alleviate this issue for all but a few. Try swallowing / making the motion of chewing gum / massaging the backs of your ears or holding your nose (close your mouth) and gently blow. This will equalize the pressure most folks feel in their ears, once equalized, there’s no other sensation of the increased pressure inside the Chamber.
Is there any pain associated with using a Hyperbaric Chamber?
Not that we’ve personally experienced; ear popping is the main issue, though it should never become painful since the user is in control of how quickly or slowly a Chamber inflates/deflates. If your ears are giving you any trouble when inflating the Chamber you can either open the manual release valve to slow the increase in pressure or turn the compressor off briefly from inside the chamber with the provided remote. Also, when exiting the Chamber, you are in control of the rate of deflation (the speed at which the air pressure escapes the Chamber). You will have the ability to turn the compressor off and on with your remote and by turning the release valve adjust the flow of air leaving the Chamber – a slower decrease in pressure will allow time for your ears to equalize. You will be instructed on several techniques to equalize. Going slowly when increasing and decreasing the pressure is certainly the key to keeping it comfortable. If you’ve ever been scuba diving – equalizing the pressure in your ears was not only necessary but slowed or stopped some from reaching their intended depth. I’ve found it much easier to equalize my ears in a Chamber compared to in the water.
Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) safe?
Yes, it’s very safe. But like walking – there’s risks that need to be properly addressed. Learning the rules of the road, when to cross the street and when it’s not safe to cross – is similar to the rules of the Chamber.
Is the Hyperbaric Chamber FDA Approved?
Yes it is! The FDA has approved the therapy for Acute Altitude Sickness. Doctors recommend it for many other “off-label” conditions and many professional athletes us HBOT as part of their routine. Tim Tebow and many famous folks use HBOT regularly.
Is the Oxygen that is produced by a Concentrator flammable?
Well, yes. An Oxygen concentrator delivers medical grade oxygen (above 87% pure) BUT will never compress the oxygen and cause it to ignite. The air we all breathe contains about 21% oxygen – that oxygen cannot be ignited because it is not under pressure. The oxygen in an 02 cylinder IS concentrated and Under Pressure, therefore it is extremely Flammable.
NEVER EVER Fill the Chamber with Oxygen from the Concentrator – always use the compressor provided.
The AHS ABC’s of HBOT
Do I need a prescription to lease or purchase a Chamber?
Yes, a Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber (higher than normal atmospheric pressure) is a type II medical device and requires a prescription in ALL cases according to federal laws. We can provide a referral for a prescription if you live in or near Denver. It’s always up to the doctor to make the final decision as to whether to provide a script.
What should I wear in the chamber?
Be comfortable! Loose fitting clothes (sweats or pajamas) are a great thing to wear. No shoes or sharp objects (jewelry) please.
What does it feel like to be in a Hyperbaric Chamber?
That’s a hard one – it definitely gets warm after about 10 minutes so the battery powered fan that’s provided can become a good companion. But really, the chamber is now just part of my life – I know that I’ll feel better and breathe better if i use it regularly. We live just north of Denver so our elevation is about 5,300 feet above sea level – I never adjusted to this altitude when I moved – from much closer to sea level in NJ. I do many different activities in the Chamber that make the time go by so quickly. In fact, I’m usually not ready to leave the Chamber when my alarm rings. But that’s me – you’ll need to decide if the Chamber is a quiet restful time or a time to catch up on emails and calls. Or both.
How do you describe “a dive” to folks unfamiliar with a Hyperbaric Chamber?
That question took me by surprise and really made me think. Here’s the best I could come up with – Imagine for a moment that a person entering the Chamber is actually getting into a super fast / super tall elevator – one that would transport them to about 12 ft. below sea level in about 2 minutes. When you remember that we live at about 5300 feet above sea level, that’s a pretty remarkable feat in 120 seconds. That’s a drop in altitude of about 2600 feet per minute – like I said a really fast/ really tall elevator. Hence the name – “Dive”.
Can I sleep in the Chamber?
We don’t recommend sleeping in the Chamber, but we do suggest Relaxing / Stretching / Reading / Exercising / Listening to music / Studying / Texting / Calling / Playing games / Eating and drinking (no forks /knives or hot liquids – please). Sleeping is NOT recommended because a hyperbaric chamber zippers are air tight when closed. If the power should go out due to a tripped circuit breaker / blown fuse or a power outage and you’re sleeping – that could get dangerous. There’s plenty of oxygen inside a chamber to allow the user to exit slowly if the power is lost – but if that person is sleeping / unaware and using up the available O2 – things could end up, Let’s just say – Not so Good!
Why is sleeping in the chamber not advisable?
Safety is our number one priority! There have been very rare cases of someone falling asleep in a Chamber. When the power shuts off, for any number of reasons, a person who was awake would likely recognize the noise level change (the compressor would turn off) and begin the deflation process to exit the chamber. Most newer chambers also come with an alarm to alert the occupant of a power outage (if you are hearing impaired please inform your trainer). Note: every person (that’s you) exhales carbon dioxide each time they breathe – this depletes the air of oxygen in a sealed environment such as a hyperbaric chamber. A compressor runs constantly during a “treatment” to supply fresh air. This air is released though a relief valve that is set to actuate at 4.4 psi. In the rare case the compressor shuts off during a treatment – simply exit the chamber as you would normally. The oxygen level will remain at a safe level for your normal exit time frame (2-5 minutes). If this explanation is not clear – please consult a qualified hyperbaric consultant or call us at 857-CHAMBER
Do I need to provide anything to treat myself at home or does AHS provide everything?
Pillows and a thick blanket or Sleeping bag/Comforter make the Chamber experience more comfortable. You’ll also need to provide a safe power supply (extension cords are not recommended). If you have questions concerning your electrical outlets – please consult a qualified electrician.
How should I clean the Chamber?
A small hand held vacuum and a damp cloth is all you’ll need to keep the Chamber clean. Please don’t use any soap or chemicals on the Chamber itself, you can wash your pillow case and blankets as usual. Yes, you can use a air freshener in the Chamber – if you’d like.
Where does AHS set up the Chamber in a home?
We set up near a receptacle usually on the floor. If you have pets or children – it’s best to place it behind closed doors. If that’s not possible, you’ll need to cover the chamber and air hose with a clean tarp or heavy blanket to protect it from sharp claws and teeth. The Chamber can be similar to an abandoned fridge, in that it’s airtight when sealed. Smaller children will likely not be able to zip the chamber closed, but older ones probably could – so instruct children and grandchildren that live with you or visit concerning the potential dangers of a Hyperbaric Chamber. A very stable platform is available at $199 per rental – so whether you keep the chamber for 1 month or 6 months – it’s $199.
Why should I Lease a Hyperbaric Chamber from Affordable Hyperbaric Solutions?
We don’t claim to be Medical professionals because – we aren’t. We’re just regular folks who wanted to feel better (probably a lot like you). We do however, know a lot about:
- Chamber Safety Standards
- Differences between the Manufacturers
- Positive and Negative Features of various Chambers
- Costs of Chambers and Best Values Available – Buying Chambers over time allows us to get the Best Prices Available.
- We negotiate BETTER deals because we buy multiple chambers at a time.
- We deal with most Warranty and Repair Issues
- We co own Chambers with our Clients – so it’s in our best interest to get you the best deals possible
- You’ll have a hard time beating our Pricing or Service
- We deliver and Set Up your Chamber, Then train every Client individually
- We **clean** the Chamber so that you can enjoy the experience with less of the Hassle.
- We realize many of our clients are recovering from some sort of illness/injury so we’ll give you some latitude. But – heavily soiled Chambers can take hours to clean by skilled people. We’d like to avoid this unnecessary step – when possible.
** Please note that heavily soiled Chambers returned to AHS will incur a $150 – $250 cleaning charge, frankly, we’d prefer you return the Chamber in a reasonable state, so we don’t need to charge you this added fee.
What are the AHS rules of the Chamber?
- Be sure ALL Zippers are closed completely and all Safety Belts are completely fastened before inflating the Chamber.
- Periodically check the airflow from the Compressor with your finger to confirm air is flowing.
- The Compressor must be running during your entire “dive” up until the time you are ready to exit (unless you want to shut it off momentarily for equalization of your ears).
- The auto relief valve should be releasing air constantly when the chamber is at full pressure.
- DO NOT open a Zipper until the Chamber is COMPLETELY depressurized.
Is it scary to take a dive?
Not for most folks, some are a little intimidated – but after they feel that the pressure can only be felt in their ear canals and only briefly – the vast majority relax and enjoy the experience.
Can I run a Compressor and an Oxygen Concentrator in the same outlet?
Good question – usually yes – but again that depends on your particular house wiring and other considerations. Most newer homes will have no problem running both units*. Please seek the advice of a qualified electrician if you have any doubts.
*Receptacles are wired with up to 10 “outlets” on 1 circuit – if a particular circuit already has a space heater turned on – that circuits available power would be very limited. A compressor plugged into the same line or “circuit” will undoubtedly trip a breaker or blow a fuse. This is a safety mechanism built into all electrical systems. If your compressor trips a breaker – we recommend moving your chamber to another area of the home. If an extension cord must be used as a temporary measure – it should be rated to handle the load. Use of a medium to heavy duty extension would be advised – under these circumstances. Some chambers are supplied with 2 compressors. If an 02 concentrator is also used – you’d be running 3 small motors. Newer homes will likely not have a problem running these 3 – but, older electrical systems will likely trip breakers/fuses. If needed, run an extension cord to another room and watch for tripping/falling hazards. For your Safety – Always Keep Smoke detectors and Co detectors working properly. 1 per Bedroom is req’d by Current Code. Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years or as advised by the manufacturer.
Note: If your detectors are Yellow, they’re Old – Replace them!!
Can I Treat myself while I am sick with a Cold or Flu?
Treatments are not recommended during aforementioned illnesses. Also, allergies that cause blocked nasal passages are an indication to avoid use of the Chamber until the symptoms clear up. If you have a doctor’s note – we will allow up to 1 additional week at no charge – so that you don’t miss out on any of your treatments.
Can I use the Chamber when I’ve been drinking Alcohol?
NEVER use the Chamber while Intoxicated – remember the Chamber is a medical II device and needs to be handled correctly/carefully to protect the user (That’s you) from harm. I often compare a Hyperbaric Chamber to a bicycle – it’s safe when handled properly. That means – don’t use it if it’s not working properly or you’re buzzed.
Can I allow my pets in the Chamber with me?
No pets are allowed in AHS Chambers. This rule is non-negotiable and results in a $150 penalty if violated. Please remember other folks will be using this device, too. And they might have allergies to pet hair/ dander.
Pets are not allowed in or on the Chamber whether it’s being used or not. Please keep the Chamber covered or in a separate room if you own pets. Note: Cats and Dogs are curious and have done extensive damage to these portable chambers. And YOU are responsible for damage caused by a pet – so please take necessary precautions.
Can I have others use the Chamber while it’s in my possession?
No one other than trained users with prescriptions (that’s you) can use the Chamber! If you’d like someone to try the Chamber please notify AHS and we’ll make arrangements for a free “treatment” once they have a doctor’s recommendation / prescription. Once we instruct them in the safe use of the equipment and potential hazards – they can use the equipment in your possession.
Can children use the Chamber also?
Yes, but only with a doctor’s prescription. Attentive supervision is a must along with patient and thorough instruction. We recommend taking “Dives” together with your child, so you’d need a script also.. Larger chambers make this easier – we currently have 2 available. Affordable is our first name and really the main reason we got started in the first place. We are constantly searching for ways to keep our Chambers “Affordable” for our growing Family of Clients. Our job = Making it Affordable / Your job = Using the Equipment Safely 🙂
Can I self-treat or do you recommend someone watching/assisting a person using the Chamber?
Most newer Chambers are designed to allow for self-treatments. That said, AHS recommends having a “buddy” to keep an eye on you while you’re in the Chamber and assisting you into and out of the chamber. And remember – NEVER sleep in the Chamber, if you feel drowsy – please get out. The Chamber is a safe place- but treat it like you would an automobile, remember – it’s a medical II device and you’re treating yourself under Doctor’s orders.
Can I smoke in the Chamber?
Please don’t make me answer that question!
Can I bring my Chamber outside?
That depends, it is not made to deal with UV or weather issues, but under controlled conditions it can be moved outdoors away from pets / weather / UV / sharp objects. Please never drag the chamber on the floor or ground and always place it on a blanket /carpet or piece of cardboard (without staples). Remember you are responsible for the Chamber while it’s in your possession. So, Use caution and Always – Be Safe!
How many sessions should I treat myself to?
Good question – please ask your physician and use good judgement. We recommend starting slowly. But again follow the advice of your doctor. Many Clinics recommend between 20 and 40 treatments before determining if the Oxygen Therapy is having a beneficial effect. Doctors will work up a protocol for their patients, so please – ask your physician.
How much time should I spend in the Chamber per day? Per week?
Clinics typically use 60 and 90 minute sessions usually every other day, but again ask your doctor and ALWAYS follow his/her instructions.
How Long Does it Take to Be Properly Instructed in the Use of a Hyperbaric Chamber?
In most cases this takes approximately 45 – 60 minutes. AHS asks that you have the person that will assist you present at the Instruction session so we can train both of you in the proper use of the chamber and potential hazards.
My schedule is busy – can I get work done while in the Chamber?
Why not? Bring your PC, cell phone, tablet and take care of business while you oxygenate your body. I (Brian) personally exercise in the Chamber and text customers and family about business or just to catch up. Let’s face it – we’re all living very busy lives. So finding the time for HBOT for me is easier when I get stuff done in our Chamber.
Why is it important to train a “buddy” during my training session?
Having someone “keeping an eye” on you is important – especially during your first dozen or so treatments. Learning the basics in your training session is just the beginning to understanding how HBOT can work for you. After a dozen sessions you’ll start to get the hang of treating yourself – remember to always control the speed at which the Chamber inflates/deflates. A rapid increase or decrease in pressure can make some folks light headed and ear popping can be more dramatic. If you are in control of the rate of inflation and deflation – you can take it at a pace that is comfortable to you. Your buddy outside the Chamber needs to be informed in their role assisting you with HBOT, that doesn’t include adjusting the release valve unless instructed by you.
How long does it take to pressurize the Chamber fully?
Good question – I can answer that for our most common Chamber – a Summit to Sea “The Dive” Chamber. It has a diameter of about 28″ and a Length of about 84″ – it’s little compressor is more powerful than one would expect from its petite size. I can get the Chamber to full pressure in about 3 minutes – which is comfortable for me and faster than our last Chamber. I’d recommend you take it slower until you get the hang of the chamber. It’s really like riding a bicycle – if you can think back that far – it was shaky at first but quickly became second nature.
How long does it take to deflate the Chamber?
I personally allow about 2 to 3 minutes to depressurize. And I let my ears guide me in how quickly to allow the air to escape the valve. If I start feeling discomfort in my ears, I slow the pressure release process by turning the valve slightly. The air escaping is louder as the valve is opened mush like releasing air from a tire.The valve spins freely and turns a bit like a hose spigot. We provide a remote with most Summit to Sea Chambers to allow the user to turn the compressor on and off from the inside the Chamber. This makes pressure adjustment and complete depressurization easier when you’re ready to get out. It’ll take a few minutes of playing with it to get the hang of it, but it’s really quite simple. If you feel the need to go more slowly, please do. Also, if the remote stops working (it’s battery operated) no problem – just open the manual valve a bit more to depressurize the chamber.
Do you recommend an Oxygen Concentrator in conjunction with a Chamber treatment?
That is really up to your prescribing physician, some folks prefer breathing pure oxygen during treatments. A Oxygen Concentrator delivers about 90% pure Oxygen to the user – far more than the 21% that is found in ambient air.
Never Ever attempt to fill the Chamber with pure Oxygen from a Concentrator – Remember – Oxygen is Flammable when compressed and concentrated. Use the Compressor provided to fill your Chamber with filtered air. A hyperbaric Chamber has may behind the scenes Safety mechanisms -for instance – 2 relief valves rather than one add redundancy to make your “Dive” safer. The compressor provided has a maximum output of 6 psi – the same pressure that our Chamber has been tested to handle. If both relief valves were to malfunction – which would be highly improbable – your Chamber would never burst open. Never use a different compressor with this or any other Chamber that is not designed for this specific purpose.
Can I use my own Concentrator while in the Chamber?
No, regular Concentrators won’t work with Hyperbaric chambers due to the pressure involved. A standard O2 Concentrator has a Back pressure rating of about 5 psi, whereas a Hyperbaric chamber requires a 20 psi back pressure rating due to the pressure in the Chamber when it’s inflated. In addition, most Concentrators deliver 5 liters per minute – a 10 liter per minute rating is recommended inside a pressurized Chamber.
Can AHS provide a platform to facilitate getting in and out of the Chamber?
Yes, a platform is $199 no matter how long your lease. If you decide to purchase a Chamber, we can sell you a very stable plywood platform for $349. This platform would remain in your home at all times.
AHS Terms & Pricing
Is an Oxygen Concentrator Included with my monthly Lease?
No, a Concentrator is $199 a month – but everything else you’ll need is included in your lease. If you check around you’ll find that medical equipment suppliers charge about $200 per week to rent cheaper Concentrators.
Can I lease a Concentrator without a Chamber?
With a prescription – the answer is Yes! It’s $249 a month w/o a chamber rental. There’s a $50 delivery fee or you can pick it up – careful it’s heavy (70 lbs).
What are the downsides to purchasing a part ownership in the Chamber thru AHS?
If you purchase a Chamber outright – there are no rules to follow – you are in total control – but be aware there are laws that regulate type ll medical devices. Remember – you should never allow a person without a script to use your Chamber – that could be considered practicing medicine without a license. You would be in control of all maintenance/cleaning activities so if you allow the chamber to get really soiled – no one will charge you to clean it properly. If you can think of others please email us – I’ll consider including your suggestions.
Why should I buy a 50 – 75% stake in a Hyperbaric Chamber thru AHS rather than buying one outright?
Good question – let’s consider the options. If you owned a Chamber outright you’d need to buy it new or used. A new one is expensive if you’re footing the entire bill and the options can seem daunting. A used one, on the other hand, is less costly but comes with a host of challenges of its own (see our story). When you co-own a chamber with AHS, we deal with repair & maintenance issues during our service agreement – typically 5 years. You only pay 50% – 75% of the cost of a chamber, rather than 100%. If your chamber stops working, we will usually provide you with a “loaner” chamber or repair yours without the hassle of packaging and shipping it back to the manufacturer, not to mention the high cost associated with even a small repair of at least $1000, We also deal with the annual maintenance. You also would decide which months you’d prefer your chamber on a 50% purchase (6 months/year). AHS schedules our 3 months on a 75% purchase option (9 months/year) but will be considerate of others schedules and do what we can to work with our clients. It has been our experience that the benefits of HBOT last for weeks after a series of treatments, so having use of a chamber for 6 to 9 months per year will likely be enough for most folks (please consult your doctor for his recommendation).
Why does AHS sell its Hyperbaric Chambers and 02 Concentrators?
We sell our chambers to clients for the same reason that car rental companies sell their used vehicles. We only rent newer equipment – that is, chambers that are 4 years old or newer. Folks that rent cars usually want newer models, so we figured the same would be true for folks that rent hyperbaric chambers. The life expectancy of a hyperbaric chamber is (in our opinion) about 8 to 10 years – if properly used and maintained. That means – don’t force the zippers / lubricate the zippers 2x’s year. Store the equipment at room temperature in a clean space. Keep the chamber in its bag when not used for an extended period / Don’t allow pets to jump on it or in it. Don’t get in the chamber with sharp objects. We also run an air purifier in the room that we keep our chamber.
Our chambers have lots of life left when we sell them to our clients. So, they’re a good value. Our equipment gets cleaned and delivered to our clients monthly, so maintaining newer equipment that’s cleaned and inspected frequently – is important to us at AHS!
What forms of payment do you accept?
Our Experience with HBOT
Do you personally use HBOT?
Yes, Jennifer and I both use the Chamber. I tend to use it about 2x per week, Jen uses it less frequently. We’ve found it helps us both with completely separate issues. I breathe much better and am able to exercise when I’m taking treatments in the Chamber, due to our mile high elevation and my shortness of breath – exercising before the Chamber was not feasible. We also use the Concentrator during our sessions of about 45 to 60 minutes.
Why do we prefer Summit to Sea and Newtowne Chambers and why “the Dive” specifically?
We cut our teeth in another brand of Chamber and although the effects of HBOT were apparent quickly and we’re better than we would have thought possible – we had lots of “issues” with keeping our Chamber operable. We made calls to “experts” and after interviewing a number of people we decided on the Summit to Sea and Newtowne Chambers because of their size – roomy enough for a 250 Lb. guy to exercise in, because of their Affordable price (about half of our first model) and finally because the windows are constructed with a multi layer system – rather than the 2 layer system that has repeatedly failed on our first chamber. It also helpful that these Chambers are easy to enter and exit without assistance, although, we never recommend self treating while alone. Safety is our number one priority and we were excited to see that the same was True at Summit to Sea and Newtowne!
What’s the most common mistake you’ve made – while using the Chamber?
Leaving the compressor running after I exit the Chamber is probably my #1 Boo Boo. The compressors we use are very quiet – so remember to check that they’re turned off – after use. It’s easy to accidentally hit the remote switch and turn the compressor back on when you’re exiting the chamber. I’ve also left the inside zipper less than fully closed/docked a few times. I realized it after the chamber was partially inflated and I heard air escaping. This is not a dangerous situation, But – a chamber won’t fully inflate unless all zippers are fully closed. I fully closed/docked the zipper and the chamber pressurized properly. Some of our chambers have 2 zippers and safety straps, others have 3 zippers. Please always check to make certain all zippers are fully closed and all safety straps are fastened while using the Chamber.