If you have ever flown on a commercial airline then you have already experienced what a hyperbaric treatment will feel like. The cabin of a commercial airliner is generally pressurized to 8,000 feet, even though the aircraft may be flying at 30,000 feet. When you’re descending at the end of your flight, you go from 8,000 feet pressure to ground pressure. That is the equivalent of being pressurized from normal pressure in the hyperbaric chamber up to 1.3 ATA in the chamber. From there we just keep increasing the pressure up to 2.0 ATA depending on the protocol you are on. But if you keep your ears cleared just like when descending in the airplane you should have no problems with any part of the pressurization process. This is because if your ears are clear the pressure is equalized and each stage of pressurization is no different than that initial change to 1.3 ATA. If you typically DO have problems with ascending or descending in an airplane please let us know. There are techniques to help with the process.
Functionally you will sit on a chair and be slid into the chamber. The door will be closed and the technician will check the communication system with you. Once you are comfortably situated, the session will start. The technician will remind you to start clearing your ears like when descending in an airplane. The pressure will then slowly increase. If you encounter any ear pressure, the technician will stop the pressurization and let you “catch up” and get your ears clear. Once you are at the target pressure and your ears are clear you should have no difficulties for the remainder of the time at your full pressure.
When it is time to start reducing pressure in the chamber the technician will talk to you and remind you to start clearing your ears. It generally takes between eight and ten minutes to return to normal room pressure. If at any time you have pressure in your ears the technician will stop the depressurization process to allow you to “catch up”. Once you are back at room pressure, the chamber door will be opened, your chair will be slid out and you will be ready to go.