RESTON, Va. (WUSA) -- Late spring in the mid-atlantic is the prime time for tick activity, and this can mean more cases of lyme disease. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT is being used with antibiotics to help combat lyme disease.
HBOT is used to fight many other conditions including stroke and cerebral palsy. The treatment also speeds wound healing. Patients are surrounded by pure oxygen at 2 to 3 times normal atmospheric pressure.
Samuel Shor, M.D. of Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment of Northern Virginia says, "What we are doing is allowing 100 percent oxygen under pressure to super-saturate the body. It is able to go into all tissue within the body."
The oxygen therapy is often used to stimulate the healing of stubborn wounds. In the case of lyme disease, the blast of oxygen helps antibiotic treatments reach their full potential.
Dr. Shor says, "This technology has the capacity to improve the immune, improve healing of the nervous system."
Valerie McKenzie of Arlington got lyme disease while hiking over Memorial Day weekend two years ago.
McKenzie says, "I couldn't stand, I couldn't walk. I kinda walked like a duck. I was having like a seizure all the time. I couldn't get them to stop. Imagine a fish out of water flapping around."
After months of trying other treatments Valerie starting using HBOT in conjunction with her anitbiotics and she is starting regain her motor functions.
"I did it and definitely noticed a difference, and now I am in remission." says McKenzie.