Advanced Central Retinal Artery Occlusion Care with HBOT

Combating Central Retinal Artery Occlusion (CRAO) With HBOT

Central Retinal Artery Occlusion (CRAO) is a sight-threatening condition where a blocked artery starves the retina of its vital oxygen supply, causing threatening irreversible blindness if not treated promptly and aggressively.

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How Does HBOT Help With Central Retinal Artery Occlusion

The Science Behind The Oxygen & Pressure

1. Supercharging with Dissolved Oxygen: Like a pressure cooker intensifying flavors, HBOT increases the pressure in the chamber, dissolving much more oxygen in your blood than under normal conditions. This creates a potent “oxygen gradient,” pushing the extra oxygen past blockages and directly into the starved retina, bypassing the occluded artery.

2. Shrinking the Blockade: Think of the blockage like a microscopic dam diverting precious oxygen away from the retina. HBOT’s pressure acts like a hydraulic press, shrinking these gas bubbles and loosening their grip on the artery. This allows some crucial blood flow to resume, delivering precious oxygen to the struggling retina.

HBOT's Benefits Go Beyond Delivering Oxygen.

Reduces Inflammation: Think of inflammation as a fire damaging the city. HBOT’s anti-inflammatory properties help extinguish this fire, protecting retinal cells from further damage.

Sparks New Pathways: Like rewiring the city’s grid, HBOT stimulates the formation of new blood vessels, creating alternative routes for oxygen to reach the retina, bypassing the original blockage.
Protects the Cells: Imagine HBOT as a force field shielding the city. It helps stabilize the oxygen environment and protect retinal cells from the harmful effects of oxygen deprivation.

If you experience sudden vision loss, seek immediate medical attention. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are critical for optimizing outcomes.

How Does Central Retinal Artery Occlusion Happen?

1. Emboli

These are like microscopic hitchhikers in the bloodstream, often arising from cholesterol deposits or blood clots in other arteries. They can travel and lodge in the central retinal artery, causing a sudden blockage.

2. Atherosclerosis

This build-up of fatty deposits thickens and hardens artery walls, narrowing the flow of blood. In severe cases, a piece of this plaque can break off and travel as an embolus, leading to CRAO.

3. Inflammation

Certain inflammatory conditions like giant cell arteritis can affect the walls of the retinal artery, causing them to swell and narrow, eventually leading to blockage.

4. High Blood Pressure

Chronically high blood pressure puts constant strain on the arteries, making them more vulnerable to damage and potentially leading to blood clot formation and subsequent blockage.

5. Diabetes

This chronic condition can weaken blood vessel walls and contribute to blood clotting, increasing the risk of CRAO.

6. CRAO Can Also Occur in Rare Cases

Trauma: Injuries to the eye can damage the central retinal artery.

Certain medications: Some medications can rarely have side effects that increase the risk of blood clots.

Anatomical variations: In some individuals, the central retinal artery may be naturally narrower or have unusual branches, making it more susceptible to blockage.

If you experience sudden vision loss in one eye, seek immediate medical attention. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial for minimizing potential damage and preserving vision.

Symptoms of Central Retinal Artery Occlusion

1. Sudden, Complete Vision Loss: This is the most dramatic and defining symptom. Imagine a curtain drawn across your eye; everything in that field of vision disappears like a light switch flipped off.

2. No Pain: Unlike many eye conditions, CRAO is pain-free. The lack of pain can be misleading, making it tempting to delay seeking urgent medical attention.

3. Floating Black Spots (Floaters): While common with age, a sudden increase in floaters, especially black or cobweb-like ones, can be a warning sign.

4. Tunnel Vision: The remaining vision in the affected eye might narrow, like looking through a narrow tube, further highlighting the central vision loss.

5. Sensitivity to Light (Photophobia): Light might become uncomfortable or even unbearable in the affected eye.

How Do You Get Diagnosed With CRAO?

Diagnosing Central Retinal Artery Occlusion (CRAO) relies on a combination of medical history, physical examination, and specific tests:

1. Medical History:

Your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms, any potential risk factors like high blood pressure or diabetes, and any recent history of injuries or medical procedures.

2. Physical Examination

Fundoscopic examination: This uses a special magnifying lens to examine the retina. In CRAO, the retina appears pale and swollen, with a distinctive cherry-red spot at the fovea (central vision area).

Pupillary light reflex: Checking how the pupils react to light can help distinguish CRAO from other causes of vision loss.

3. Additional Tests:

Visual acuity test: Measures your remaining vision.

Fluorescein angiography: Dyes injected into the arm highlight blood flow within the retina, revealing the location and extent of the blockage.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT): Provides detailed images of the retina, helping assess damage to its layers.

Blood tests: May be ordered to check for risk factors like high cholesterol or blood clotting disorders.

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Conditions Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Supports

Find A Solution To Your Health Concerns

From chronic illnesses and autoimmune conditions, to sleep disorders and plastic surgery recovery, our Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is designed to navigate a wide array of health challenges, guiding you towards optimal wellness through targeted, individualized strategies.

What Medical Conditions Are Covered By My Health Insurance?

Currently, we do not accept insurance for HBOT.

FDA Approved Conditions
We Manage

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently recognizes Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for 14 medical conditions, all of which are generally covered.

Below, you will find links to resources pertaining to the FDA approved conditions and use cases for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. If you have any questions, schedule a consultation with our Hyperbaric Medical Doctor. 

Non-Insurance Covered Conditions We Manage

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) may also benefit many other conditions not yet approved by the FDA. 

Use of HBOT for over 60 medical conditions is approved by other countries around the world and supported by significant, long-standing research. Below is a list of non-covered conditions that have major researched benefits yet to be approved by insurance.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy FAQ

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

From chronic illnesses and autoimmune conditions, to sleep disorders and plastic surgery recovery, our Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is designed to navigate a wide array of health challenges, guiding you towards optimal wellness through targeted, individualized strategies.

Generally, HBOT is considered safe when administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional in a reputable facility. However, it’s essential to understand both the potential benefits and risks before undergoing treatment.

Here’s a breakdown of safety considerations:

Minimal side effects: Most people experience only mild, temporary side effects like ear pressure, fatigue, and sinus discomfort. These usually resolve quickly on their own or with simple measures.

Non-invasive and painless: The treatment itself is comfortable and does not involve needles or surgery.

No drug interactions: HBOT doesn’t interact with medications unless specifically noted by your doctor.

The number of sessions required depends on the condition and individual response. Typically, a treatment plan involving multiple sessions over several weeks is needed. Speak to our Hyperbaric Medical Doctor to get guidance on if Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is right for you and your condition, and what you can expect in each of your sessions.

At our Hyperbaric Therapy Wellness Center in Hollywood! We provide expertly administered hyperbaric treatments overseen by Dr. Safa Maklad, a hyperbaric certified physician. We are committed to upholding stringent hyperbaric safety protocols and ensure the highest standards of care.

The office offers 100% cotton robes to wear during your treatment. During your consultation, we will thoroughly discuss the list of approved and restricted items for the chamber.

It’s best to have a light meal several hours beforehand to avoid nausea. Avoid heavy meals and alcohol within 24 hours of your session.

Staying hydrated beforehand can help your body absorb oxygen more efficiently. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise may also enhance treatment outcomes.

Some people experience increased energy and improved focus after a session. Others might feel tired or have slight muscle aches, which usually resolve within a day or two.

Treatment response varies depending on the condition being treated and individual factors. It’s crucial to follow our recommended treatment plan and discuss any noticeable changes or lack of progress after several sessions.

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