Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a painless and non-invasive specialised oxygen treatment, that effectively enhances the body’s natural healing. It involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized hyperbaric chamber.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy allows blood plasma to absorb up to ten to fifteen times more oxygen at pressures greater than sea level (2.0 -2.5 ATA).  Your blood carries this oxygen throughout your body. This helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

What are the benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy supports the body to:

  • Increase the amount of oxygen carried by the blood
  • Enable the oxygen to be dissolved into the hard-to-reach plasma, lymph, and fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord
  • Stimulate the development of new blood vessels where circulation has been compromised
  • Promote collagen, bone, and cartilage repair and regeneration
  • Reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Mobilize and stimulate an increase of stem cells within damaged tissues and in bone marrow
  • Strengthen the immune system and stimulate the release of stem cells
  • Increase superoxide dismutase, one of the body’s most crucial antioxidant and free radical scavenger
Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy right for you?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is an effective treatment for a variety of medical conditions either as a primary or adjunctive treatment.

NUMA offers a medical consultant-led service with a face-to-face assessment for all new patients to determine if therapy suitable for each patient.

The process allows our physician to fully understand your individual medical circumstances and determine the appropriate Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy programme for you, based on your medical history and latest clinical research.

Our physician can provide in-depth answers to any of your HBOT questions and help you determine if this treatment is right for you.

What Medical Conditions are treated at NUMA?

We support the following conditions with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy:

  • Health Optimisation
  • Sport performance and Injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Fibromyalgia / ME / Chronic Fatigue
  • Chronic Pain
  • Dementia / Cognitive impairments
  • Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Stroke
  • Lyme Disease
  • Pre and post surgical recovery
What happens during a hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment?

There are several stages during a typical treatment.

  • The first stage is compression in which the chamber is pressurized to the prescribed pressure, most commonly 2.0 atmospheres absolute (the equivalent of 33 feet below the surface of the ocean)
  • The chamber is maintained at this pressure (depth) and patients breathe 100 percent oxygen via oxygen mask .
  • Patients are given two air breaks during this oxygen-breathing period where they can take off the oxygen mask if treatment is 90 minutes. N0 air break is required if treatment is for 60 minutes.
  • Depending on the duration of the treatment, after the oxygen periods are finished, the chamber is depressurized and the treatment is finished.
What does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy feel like?

At the start of the treatment session, oxygen starts flowing in through the oxygen mask, and pressure in the chamber gradually increase. You may start feeling a fullness sensation in the ears, similar to ascending or descending in an airplane. This fullness should only last about 10-15 minutes and an experienced NUMA hyperbaric chamber operator will guide you to relieve any ear pressure. Once treatment pressure is reached, you can relax and just breathe normally. Near the end of the treatment session, the hyperbaric technician will gradually decrease the pressure in the chamber which takes about 10 minutes. During this decompression stage, it is common for patients to experience a slight popping sensation in the ears as a result of the change in pressure. Majority of patients find hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions to be relaxing.

We hope that each session with NUMA will leave you feeling peaceful and relaxed.

Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Painful?

No. The majority of patients find hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions to be relaxing. Many patients use this as a time to relax, take a nap or read. You may experience some mild ear discomfort similar to the sensation you would experience while flying, diving or driving up a mountain. However, HBOT should not be painful. If you do experience any earaches during treatment, inform attending chamber operator immediately. Our chamber operators can help to alleviate pain by instructing you and equalising pressures within the ear alongside adjusting the pressure of the chamber to resolve the issue.

Why do I have to have initial consultation?

NUMA offers a medical consultant-led service with a face-to-face assessment for all new patients to determine if therapy suitable for each patient.
The process allows our physician to fully understand your individual medical circumstances and determine the appropriate Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy programme for you, based on your medical history and latest clinical research.

The initial consultation is essential to provide you with safe and effective tailored treatment programme.

How long does a treatment last?

A typical treatment lasts between 60 – 90 minutes, depending on your condition.

How many treatments will I need, and how often?

The number and frequency of treatments required varies with the specific condition that is being treated. Some conditions, might be treated in five visits. For many conditions, one treatment a day (Monday through Friday) is given for a total of 20 to 30 treatments, usually a total of four to six weeks.

To effectively treat medical conditions, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan and administered with other therapies and drugs that fit your individual needs.

What type of chamber does NUMA use?

We use Monoplace hyperbaric chambers. Our chambers are designed to accommodate only one patient at a time. The chambers are compressed with air, and oxygen is given through facial masks.

Our chambers have clear acrylic window that allows our trained technicians to closely monitor the patient and permits the patient to see outside of the chamber. Patients are observed throughout the session and able to communicate with the attending chamber operator via an intercom.

Is HBOT safe?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is prescribed by a physician and performed under hyperbaric oxygen chamber operator’s supervision. It is non-invasive therapy with very few rare potential side effects and has very few contraindications.

The risks will be discussed with you before you sign your consent form for therapy.

What are the side effects of HBOT?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally considered extremely safe. it is usually well tolerated with few side-effects. While rare, risks of the procedure include:

  • Middle ear injuries/ Barotrauma of the ear
  • Sinus congestion and pressure
  • Temporary near-sightedness
  • Claustrophobia
  • Oxygen toxicity
  • Seizures

At NUMA, Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is prescribed by a physician and performed under hyperbaric oxygen chamber operator’s supervision. All appropriate measures are taken to prevent any possible adverse effects.

The risks will be discussed with you before you sign your consent form for therapy.

How should patients prepare for treatment?

We advice loose-fitting cotton clothing, and avoid cosmetics, perfumes, hair sprays, deodorants and jewellery. The chamber operators need to know if any medications, including non prescription drugs, are being taken by the patient, and patients are advised not to take alcohol or carbonated drinks for four hours prior to treatment.

Both nicotine and caffeine cause blood vessels to constrict, and may reduce the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. We strongly advise avoidance of all tobacco during the period of your treatments and thereafter if at all possible.

Please have a light, nutritious meal one to two hours before your scheduled treatment. If you have diabetes, your blood glucose will be checked before and after each treatment, because hyperbaric oxygen treatments can occasionally lower blood glucose levels.

How are patients referred for treatment?

Patients are accepted either by self referral or by physician referral. All patients are evaluated by our physician and individualized treatment protocols prescribed, based on their specific needs. To schedule an evaluation, please call us at +44 (0)20 3823 1212 or email [email protected]

Are hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments covered by insurance?

This will depend on your insurance company. Please discuss with your insurer. All patients are expected to pay prior to their treatments. We will provide you with a receipt for your reimbursement if agreed by your insurer.

Do you provide wheelchair access?

The premises are not suitable for access by wheelchair, however alternative arrangements can be made for users.

What are the nearest tube stations?

The nearest tube stations to our clinic are as follows:

Bond Street (Central Line / Jubilee Line)  – approximately 2 minutes away
Oxford Street (Central / Bakerloo / Jubilee line)  – approximately 8 minutes away

How much does HBOT cost?

Please refer to our pricing page for full details on cost.