Oxygen therapy has been used to help treat a number of illnesses and injuries, not just chronic lung diseases and cardiovascular diseases. It's no surprise that oxygen therapy in the form of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and the kind used to treat COPD are widely used by the military and medical professionals to treat soldiers, as well as veterans who need medical assistance.
For example, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is being used to treat the most common injury known to military professions – Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Brain trauma is one of the worst types of injury, because it will negatively effect every part of the body, and every part of your daily life. This type of injury is so common in the military, because of the explosive devices that they have to deal with. Brain injuries like these are also called post-concussive injuries (from the concussion caused by explosives, and often go hand in hand with another common problem among soldiers and vets – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
A recent study involving military personnel, showed that those with PTSD and TBI improved dramatically after they received just 40 treatments of HBOT. Their symptoms decreased and were not nearly as severe. They were able to think much more clearly and their ability to have much more complex thoughts improved, where before their thoughts were often confused.
Why does oxygen therapy help so much when it comes to brain injuries? The brain uses around 25% of the total oxygen used by the body. It's amazing that this one organ uses a quarter of all the oxygen brought in by your lungs. This is because the brain has such a big job – it basically controls the whole body with thoughts, chemicals and impulses. When the brain has been damaged, even only by a little bit, it can cause changes in personality and everyday functions.
When a brain that has been dealt some damage is exposed to the proper amount of oxygen, it will again be able to function better. If the heart is damaged or if you have a sort of cardiovascular disease that makes it hard for the heart to pump enough blood throughout the body, it can often be helped by supplying more oxygen to the blood through oxygen therapy. Then, the heart won't have to work as hard to accomplish the same thing.
Military hospitals and medical professionals that treat injured or afflicted veterans are being provided with legislation, specifically to make it easier to treat them with oxygen therapy. In some states, veterans are guaranteed free use of oxygen therapy to treat traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder, among other medical issues. They are still doing research to see exactly how much oxygen is safe to use to treat these problems.
Oxygen is becoming a preferred method of treatment, because it can be less expensive over time than therapy and the continued use of prescribed drugs. Oxygen is a natural element that our bodies need to heal and to stay healthy.