Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-established treatment for decompression sickness, a hazard of scuba diving. Other conditions treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy include serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won't heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury.
In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure.
Your blood carries this oxygen throughout your body. This helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.
Jan. 12, 2018
- Mechem CC, et al. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 20, 2014.
- Bennett MH, et al. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for acute ischaemic stroke. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004954.pub2/abstract. Accessed May 20, 2014.
- AskMayoExpert. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Murray MJ, et al. eds. Faust's anesthesiology review. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 21, 2014.
- Auerbach PS. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Mosby; 2012.
- Dauwe PB, et al. Does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work in facilitating acute wound healing: A systematic review. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Journal. 2014;133:208e.
- Bennett MH, et al. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for late radiation tissue injury. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005005.pub3/abstract. Accessed July 25, 2014.
- Bennett MH, et al. Hyperbaric oxygen for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004739.pub4/abstract. Accessed July 25, 2014.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 25, 2014.
- Tharangini Raveenthiraraja MS. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy: A review. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2013;5:52.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2010.
- Casey DP, et al. Vasoconstrictor responsiveness during hyperbaric hyperoxia in contracting human muscle. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2013;114:217.
- Murad MH, et al. Using GRADE for evaluating the quality of evidence in hyperbaric oxygen therapy clarifies evidence limitations. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 2014;67:65.
- Rajagopalan G, et al. Is HOT a cool treatment for type 1 diabetes? Diabetes. 2012;61:1664.
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy: Don't be misled. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm364687.htm. Accessed Aug. 20, 2014.
- Liu R, et al. Systematic review of the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygenation therapy in the management of chronic diabetic foot ulcers. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2013;88:166.
- Indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society. http://membership.uhms.org/?page=Indications. Accessed Aug. 21, 2014.
- Millman MP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 15, 2014.