9 doctors weighed in:
Are there any dangers of hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
9 doctors weighed in

Dr. Latisha Smith
Wound care
3 doctors agree
In brief: Yes-too much oxygen
When oxygen is breathed under pressure the oxygen has a stimulatory effect on the nerve tissue.
It can cause a convulsion or other symptoms of excess excitability like muscle twitching or behavior changes. Pressure changes can cause ear drum damage and dizziness. Most effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy are reversible when the therapy is stopped.

In brief: Yes-too much oxygen
When oxygen is breathed under pressure the oxygen has a stimulatory effect on the nerve tissue.
It can cause a convulsion or other symptoms of excess excitability like muscle twitching or behavior changes. Pressure changes can cause ear drum damage and dizziness. Most effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy are reversible when the therapy is stopped.
Dr. Latisha Smith
Dr. Latisha Smith
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1 comment
Dr. Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay
The nerve tissue is not stimulated per se by hyperbaric oxygen. Rather, hyperbaric oxygen can form free oxygen radicals which lead to lipid peroxidation. Since nerve tissues (with myelin sheaths) have a high concentration of lipids, they are affected. Lipid peroxidation disrupts the membrane integrity & the membrane potential. Theoretically, this causes easy depolarization and can lead to seizures
Dr. Scott Bolhack
Wound care
3 doctors agree
In brief: Hyperbaric
There are complications that can be associated with this very safe therapy.
Some include: anxiety from claustrophia; inability to clear the middle ears resulting in barotrauma (treated with insertion of ear tubes so that the therapy can continue); and oxygen seizures, which has no long-term consequences. These and other complications should be reviewed with the hyperbaric physician & technician.

In brief: Hyperbaric
There are complications that can be associated with this very safe therapy.
Some include: anxiety from claustrophia; inability to clear the middle ears resulting in barotrauma (treated with insertion of ear tubes so that the therapy can continue); and oxygen seizures, which has no long-term consequences. These and other complications should be reviewed with the hyperbaric physician & technician.
Dr. Scott Bolhack
Dr. Scott Bolhack
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Dr. Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay
Internal Medicine - Hospital-based practice
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Yes
Yes, there are known risks of hyperbaric oxygen therapy that a qualified doctor should review with you prior to starting treatment.
Effects can be related to pressure on the eardrum (barotrauma), lower blood sugar, changes in your vision, risk of fire / explosion, and other problems. Most of these risks can be mitigated. Make sure you ask a hyperbaricist about all your concerns before starting.

In brief: Yes
Yes, there are known risks of hyperbaric oxygen therapy that a qualified doctor should review with you prior to starting treatment.
Effects can be related to pressure on the eardrum (barotrauma), lower blood sugar, changes in your vision, risk of fire / explosion, and other problems. Most of these risks can be mitigated. Make sure you ask a hyperbaricist about all your concerns before starting.
Dr. Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay
Dr. Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay
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Dr. V. Pinnamaneni
Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine
In brief: Judicious use
Judicious use of HBO is important, understanding risks, benefits and alternatives are important.
Risks include Oxygen Toxicity Reaction, barotrauma (to ears [most common], lungs), cataract formation, are the big ones to be aware of, 5-10 % of patients may have barotrauma of the ears but 50+% it only bother minimally and can be managed, or decreased with meds, all other side effects are 1% or less

In brief: Judicious use
Judicious use of HBO is important, understanding risks, benefits and alternatives are important.
Risks include Oxygen Toxicity Reaction, barotrauma (to ears [most common], lungs), cataract formation, are the big ones to be aware of, 5-10 % of patients may have barotrauma of the ears but 50+% it only bother minimally and can be managed, or decreased with meds, all other side effects are 1% or less
Dr. V. Pinnamaneni
Dr. V. Pinnamaneni
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