*Please note that OxyGeneration does not provide emergency medicine services, which includes COVID-19. If you have symptoms, please follow the HSE guidelines.*
Long-COVID is a term to describe the effects of COVID-19 that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness and infectious period. Some groups consider symptoms that last more than eight weeks to be Long-COVID. More details of how many people are affected by Long-COVID are still emerging, but research from the UK (Office for National Statistics) suggests around 1/5 people who test positive for COVID-19 have symptoms for five weeks or longer. For around 1/10 people, they last twelve weeks or longer. There is growing awareness of the long-term impacts.
The most common symptoms reported by Long-COVID patients include:
- Cough/lung issues;
- Headaches & brain fog;
- Muscle aches & pains; and
- Loss of smell & taste.
How Hyperbaric Oxygenation can help?
Current treatment recommendations for Long-COVID is to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Hyperbaric oxygenation has been studied and used to help people with similar symptoms including chronic fatigue, lung issues, cognitive disorders, and aches and pains. Hyperbaric oxygenation at its core is about getting more oxygen into damaged tissue. When damaged, tissue needs even more oxygen which is why hyperbaric oxygenation can help many of these symptoms. Hyperbaric oxygenation centers in the UK, USA, France, Sweden and Germany have been reporting positive results for individuals presenting with Long-COVID and potential benefits to a course of sessions.
Some people are experiencing fatigue – overall tiredness, lack of energy and generally feeling wiped out. These are symptoms that are similar to those experienced by those with post viral fatigue syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and other related, poorly understood disorders associated with chronic fatigue and pain. Hyperbaric oxygenation clinical trials have been shown to decrease the severity of symptoms and increase the quality of life for those with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Hyperbaric oxygenation at its simplest delivers more oxygen to brain tissue. Previous hyperbaric oxygenation trials in Israel have found that hyperbaric oxygenation induces neuroplasticity that leads to repair of chronically impaired brain functions and improved quality of life for post-stroke and brain injury patients, even years after the initial injury.
An Israeli clinic is now running a trial on post-covid and hyperbaric oxygenation.
One of the Long-COVID symptoms is joint pain and muscle aches. Hyperbaric oxygenation has well known anti-inflammatory powers and is frequently used to treat inflammatory conditions and to help with pain management of such conditions. It helps oxygenate damaged tissue and relieve and repair any damage that may be causing the pain.
Hyperbaric oxygenation is commonly used by athletes and others to help their recovery from muscle aches and exertion.
Some people are experiencing shortness of breath, persistent cough and may have lung damage from COVID-19. Hyperbaric oxygenation has previously been used to alleviate lung damage caused by carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation.
It may help with the inflammatory response to the infection and in some of the early studies on hyperbaric oxygenation for COVID-19, the appearance of COVID-19 pneumonia on CT scans cleared up after three to five days after starting hyperbaric oxygenation. The density of the lung lesions appeared to reduce after hyperbaric oxygenation.
If you are currently on a treatment plan with your GP for Long-COVID, you’ll need a letter of referral to book your OxyGeneration sessions.
We’ve compiled an overview of research to date on hyperbaric oxygenation and COVID-19: