What Conditions Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treat?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat a wide variety of diseases, conditions, and wounds. In the United States, the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants clearance to all diseases and conditions to be treated by hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Although licensed physicians may legally use a hyperbaric chamber to treat unapproved diseases and conditions, it is illegal to promote and advertise these uses. In addition, you may reasonably question the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for any unapproved condition. The following conditions have been approved by the FDA, as well as the UHMS, to be treated by HBOT:

Blood and Circulatory Problems:

  • Air or gas embolism
  • Anemia
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Decompression sickness


  • Brain abscess
  • Gangrene
  • Necrotizing infections
  • Osteomyelitis

Wounds and Injuries:

  • Acute traumatic ischemias
  • Central retinal artery occlusion
  • Chronic wounds
  • Crush injuries
  • Compartment syndrome
  • Diabetic ulcers
  • Radionecrosis
  • Skin grafts or skin flaps at risk of tissue death Thermal burns

Although U.S. physicians may legally prescribe hyperbaric oxygen therapy for “off-label” conditions such as the ones listed above, it is important to take medical coverage into consideration. Insurance companies will not cover HBOT for any condition they deem experimental and investigational due to insufficient evidence in medical literature establishing that HBOT is more effective than other more conventional therapies. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for FDA-approved conditions is covered by most insurance plans, but you need to research what your insurance company’s policy is on this type of treatment. Exact costs of treatment will vary, but non-FDA approved off-label uses are approximately $200 per 60-minute session.