The benefits of a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber are related to the increased oxygen the blood can carry, according to Mayo Clinic. This increase in oxygen helps the body to fight bacteria and stimulates the release of growth factors and stem cells, thus promoting healing.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy administration takes place in a tube or chamber, which provides pure oxygen at three times normal air pressure, Mayo Clinic notes. It is a well-established treatment for decompression sickness, which is a hazard associated with scuba diving.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treats severe anemia, brain abscesses, air bubbles in the blood vessels and burns, states Mayo Clinic. Doctors also use hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat carbon monoxide poisoning, non-healing wounds, radiation injuries and infections causing tissue death. Though there are claims that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can treat Alzheimer's disease, cancer, depression, hepatitis, spinal cord injuries and other ailments, there is not sufficient evidence to indicate that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is effective in those cases.
Although hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally safe, possible risks include changes in the eye lens that can cause temporary nearsightedness, ear drum rupture or leaking fluid in the ear due to increased pressure, seizures due to too much oxygen in the nervous system and lung collapse caused by the changes in air pressure, according to Mayo Clinic. The oxygen-rich environment also carries a risk of fire in some circumstances.