Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Part II

HBOT chambers that are used to improve the symptoms of infantile autism come in two flavors –


and HARD:


The soft chamber is made of plastic, and the hard chamber is made of glass and steel.

The advantages of the soft chamber – also known as “mild HBOT” are:

Portable – can be kept in a home more easily

Less cost if long term use – can be purchased for home use

More flexible schedules – since it can be used in the home

The disadvantages (soft chamber):

Achieves lower pressures – 1.3 ATM (atmospheres or ~11 feet below sea level)

Oxygen nearly the same as room air (we breathe 21% oxygen, additional oxygen is usually supplied to get ~ 24%)

Appears more uncomfortable – only a small “lookout hole” and will have an odor (of plastic) for a quite a while

The advantages of the hard unit:

This was the original type of chamber used for the purpose of helping autistic patients

Can attain much higher pressures – even higher than 1.75 ATM (~24 feet below sea level)

Can attain higher oxygen levels (100%)

Doesn’t have odor or residual phthalates

?More likely to get covered by insurance

The disadvantages of the hard unit:

Really impractical for home use

Patient needs to go to HBOT center

Continued treatments will increase costs

So, hard vs. soft?: If a parent wishes to leave no stone unturned in their journey to recover their child, they may choose to try hyperbaric treatments. All things being equal (and they rarely are), I would go with the hard chamber first.

If you choose the soft chamber, and it doesn’t help, you will STILL want to try the hard chamber. If, on the other hand, you try the hard chamber first and it DOESN’T work, you can pretty much figure that the soft one won’t add anything to your search. If the hard chamber DOES work, well, you could still give a trial of the soft chamber to see if you get similar results. Or, like many patients, you could continue the hard chamber if you are seeing results.

Next in Part III, the science of hyperbaric treatments.

16 Responses to “Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Part II”

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  10. ceebee says:

    Paralleling or calling MILD hyperbaric (HBT) to HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY (HBOT) is a false statement.
    HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY OR HBOT is the delivery of 100 percent medical grade oxygen (requires a prescription) in a pressurized hard chamber. Manufactures, distributors and treatment centers of the mild chambers either advertise these chambers as Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers or parallel the description to hyperbaric oxygen chambers. Many parents and caregivers are under the impression that both are equal.

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  12. Rene says:

    Hello, I see interesting this article and web page, I think that it makes a lot of sense to try out the hard chamber before purchasing the soft chamber, but the real benefits for patients under HBOT (hard chamber) treatment, will show up until at least 6 month continuous exposure to the conditions offered inside the chamber. This represent a large cost and a lot of effort on the families that will like to try this treatment. This can be done at their own houses, there has been a lot of changes on the last 4 years on MILD hyperbaric chamber industry, and the pressure can be safely managed to go up to 1.4 ATA when most of the hard chambers work under 1.5 ATA. Considering the costs involved on this I really think that having a Portable MILD hyperbaric chamber is better option.

    Anyways I like a lot this article and web page. I think this is a responsible writing about a really sensitive issue and having a responsible point of view is very important. A lot of people get misguidance because of the multiple details that should be taken into consideration for this kind of desition.

    Greetings from a Mexican in China reading about hyperbaric chambers points of view in South Africa!

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