Ozone is an unstable form of oxygen. The colorless, odorless oxygen we breathe has two oxygen atoms. Ozone has three. Oxygen doesn’t like to have three atoms, so this makes the ozone molecule unstable. Ozone is naturally a blue gas with a pungent odor. In fact, many people at seaside resorts think they’re smelling ozone, but the odor they’re noticing is actually that of rotting seaweed!
Some 10 to 30 miles above the Earth’s surface, there is a layer of concentrated ozone. This layer, part of the stratosphere, helps to protect the earth from harmful radiation by absorbing this radiation before it can reach the Earth’s surface. A significantly- sized hole in the ozone layer was discovered over Antarctica in 1985, but this problem has been largely rectified by eliminating certain chemicals used in manufacturing and aerosol sprays. Although the ozone layer is rich in ozone molecules, the air we breathe is not. Air at sea level contains about 2 million oxygen molecules per 10 million molecules of air. Of these 2 million ordinary oxygen molecules, only about three of them are ozone!
Ozone has commercial and medical applications, too. It’s used an a disinfectant for medical supplies and swimming pools. During the First World War, ozone was used to treat trench foot and also to disinfect battle wounds. It was also used to manage deadly wound gangrene in an era long before the first usage of penicillin and other antibiotics.
Ozone has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral activity. Its use is rather controversial, but some positive effects have been noted. It shows promise for the treatment of a wide range of conditions but a few of them include:
- Immune conditions
- Breathing disorders
Diabetics often experience delayed healing. This is why they’re poor candidates for many elective surgical procedures, such as dental implants. A common complication of this disease is diabetic foot ulcers. These can refuse to heal and become very deep, even reaching the bone. Sometimes, all or part of the foot must be amputated to stop the ulcer from progressing. Ozone has been helpful to close these ulcers and promote healing. Ozone may also help to reduce both local and systemic inflammation.
Immune disorders may also respond to ozone therapy. Ozone appears to stimulate the immune system. It’s been shown to significantly reduce the HIV viral load when administered as ozone blood therapy.
Ozone increases oxygen levels in the blood and may help to reduce the stress on the lungs for people with diseases like COPD, which stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD has symptoms similar to those of emphysema and can cause a severely limited quality of life. Although ozone is irritating to the lungs when inhaled, it’s shown promise when used in intravenous blood ozone therapy.
How Ozone Therapy is Administered
Medical-grade ozone is specially prepared in the lab for this purpose. Because it’s a gas, it must be administered in special ways. It cannot be inhaled. Alternatively, it can be applied to the skin, mixed with your drawn blood that is then returned to you, intramuscularly and as an ozone sauna, which means a body part is wrapped in plastic to form a bubble. The gas is then injected into the bubble.
For IV blood therapy, such as that for HIV, your own blood is first drawn. In a special, sterile procedure, ozone is dissolved into your blood, which then returned to you via an intravenous line. This procedure requires extreme care and skill and should only be performed by experienced medical professionals.
Mixed with ordinary oxygen, ozone can also be given into a muscle as an injection. This procedure may be helpful in treating osteoarthritis of the knee and herniated discs in the back. It may also help with muscle strains, sprains and for the muscle pains associated with fibromyalgia.
Ozone is thought to help with oxidative stress. This occurs when cells are attacked by free radicals, which are harmful compounds created when cells undergo certain processes involving oxygen. This oxidative stress causes systemic inflammation, which has been linked to conditions like diabetes, heart disease and dementia. By reducing inflammation, ozone may help the body to heal faster. Ozone may also have important applications in the treatment of chronic muscle pain.
If you’d like to know more about ozone therapy, call us at 205-352-9141. Our experienced physicians will be happy to consult with you and explain in detail how ozone therapy may beneficial to you.