Quackery Exposed: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is when pure oxygen is in a pressurized room, tube or chamber. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a proven medical treatment for specific medical conditions.

These conditions are:

  • Decompression sickness (a hazard of scuba diving)
  • serious infections
  • emboli (bubbles of air in blood vessels)
  •  wounds that won't head as a result of diabetes or radiation injury
  • severe anemia
  • brain absess
  • burn
  • carbon monoxide poisoning
  • crushing injury
  • sudden Deafness (we know how I feel about this)
  • gangrene
  • infection of the skin or bone that cause tissue death
  • skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue death
  • sudden and painful vision loss
In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than the normal air pressure. Under these conditions, the patient's lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. 

The patient's blood carries oxygen throughout the body. This helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of growth factors and stem cells, which promotes healing. 

The human body's tissue needs an adequate supply of oxygen to function properly. When the tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to repair itself and function. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen in the blood can carry. The increase of oxygen temporarily restores normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fighting infection. 

Risks of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

  • temporary nearsightedness caused by temporary lens changes
  • middle ear injuries, including leaking fluid and eardrum rupture, due to increased air pressure
  • lung collapse caused by air pressure changes
  • seizures as a result of too much oxygen (oxygen toxicity) in the central nervous system
  • Fire, due to the oxygen-rich environment in the treatment chamber
There is insufficient evidence to support claims that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can effectively treat the following conditions:
  • Allergies
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Bell's Palsy
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • cancer
  • cerebral palsy
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • cirrhosis
  • depression
  • fibromyalgia
  • gastrointestinal ulcers
  • heart disease
  • heatstroke
  • hepatitis
  • migraine
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Spinal Cord injury
  • stroke

Why Quacks Think it Reverses Autism

According to TACA, it: 
1. It heals the gut and brain inflammation
2. It increases blood flow to key areas of the brain
3. It helps with gut parasites, yeast or bacteria
4. Helps in all four areas.