Hyperbaric oxygen chamber used to treat COVID long-haulers

Humble, TX – According to the Center for Disease Control, one in five adults experience long-haul COVID-19.

Those are the lingering symptoms that can range from mild to severe, indefinitely.

It commonly includes symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath, and headaches.

For some, the symptoms can be so pesky they’re willing to try countless treatments to improve them.

Now, the Houston Hyperbaric Oxygen Center in Humble is using hyperbaric chambers to treat the symptoms.

These types of oxygen chambers are typically used for wound healing.

“This will help deliver oxygen to their tissues. So, we’re now translating that to medical conditions that have chronic inflammation such as long-COVID. We have all of these organs that are kind of at risk for the inflammatory process that goes on with COVID and then has these lingering effects,” explained neurologist Dr. Allison Boyle.

According to Dr. Boyle and Brad Copus, the program’s director, this therapy can work.

“The main use for [the hyperbaric chambers] is wound care. But, we have others that are considered investigational that we’ve seen [such as] post-COVID, stroke, and brain injury,” Copus explained.

As of July, long-COVID was added to the list of disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Andrew Innes took a leave from work because his symptoms got so bad.

“I went from exercising twice a day. I’ve probably lost 30 pounds since having COVID,” Innes explained his symptoms. “Muscle weakness, digestive issues, a lot of food intolerance. I had a very hard time projecting my voice.”

He says he tried numerous supplements, IV therapies, and ozone therapy. However, he recently finished 40 sessions inside the hyperbaric oxygen chamber (five times a week for about two months) and said that’s the most relief he’s gotten so far.

“Now, I can exercise at a reasonable level. I can work a little bit more, the brain fog isn’t as bad. I was scared that if I try this and it doesn’t work, what left is there to try?” Innes said.

“It’s pretty amazing how people can come in here, and not be able to move very well or have difficulty getting on or off the table. Then after a few sessions, they’re actually able to move better and they’re getting quality of life back,” Boyle explained.

In most cases, insurance won’t cover this.

The Houston Hyperbaric Oxygen Center charges $180-$300 per session.