IHHT – Interval Hypoxic Hyperoxic Treatment
One of the first definitions of intermittent (interval) hypoxia is a repeated episode of hypoxia interspersed with episodes of normoxia [Burtscher et al.]. The term “intermittent hypoxia” is widely used with negative connotations in reference to obstructive sleep apnoea [Ainslie et al.]. For this reason, Burtscher et al. proposed using the term “interval hypoxia” in connection with treatment.
Hypoxia can be achieved in two ways: through a reduction of the oxygen level in the air – Normobaric IH (NIH) or through a decrease in the overall pressure level, resulting in the supply of a lower oxygen volume to the body in a hypobaric chamber – Hypobaric IH (HIH). There are several complications associated with the HIH method and our main focus is directed at the development of the Normobaric approach.
The duration of a single hypoxic episode can be divided into two categories: short-duration IH, comprised of several 5-minute bouts of low level oxygen, separated by 5-minute bouts of room air, and long-duration IH, consisting of being exposed for one hour to a low level of O2 [Koehle et al.].