Tinnitus and hyperbaric oxygen
Name of treatment
|Type of treatment||Physical intervention|
|Claims for treatment||
The increased supply of oxygen to the ear and brain reduces the severity of hearing loss and tinnitus.
|How treatment is delivered||
The person sits in a small airtight chamber, and air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal pressure for 60-120 minutes. Typical courses involve 20-40 sessions.
|Potential negative consequences||
Associated with some risk, including damage to ears, sinuses and lungs from the effects of pressure, temporary worsening of short-sightedness, claustrophobia and oxygen poisoning.
|Papers available||<10 (as in Cochrane review)|
|Conclusions drawn||The significance of any improvement in tinnitus could not be assessed. There were no significant improvements in chronic tinnitus (tinnitus experienced for over six months) |
|Quality of evidence ||
|Does the BTA recommend this treatment?||No|
|BTA opinion on this treatment||This therapy does not benefit patients with chronic tinnitus. There is no evidence to show whether this therapy benefits newly diagnosed patients.|
|Would the BTA support further studies into this treatment?||Unlikely unless a high quality, large scale study|
|Verdict: Safety. Is this treatment harmful?||
Evidence of harm
|Verdict: Efficacy. Does this treatment work?||
Evidence that is has NO effect
For further information
The BTA Tinnitus Support Team can answer your questions on any tinnitus related topics:
Telephone: 0800 018 0527
Web chat: – click on the icon
Email: [email protected]
Text/SMS: 07537 416841
We also offer a free tinnitus e-learning programme, Take on Tinnitus.
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or by writing to us at the address below.
 Bennett MH, Kertesz T, Perleth M, Yeung P, Lehm JP.Hyperbaric oxygen for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD004739. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004739.pub410.1002/14651858.CD003852.pub3
 A = Systematic review/meta-analysis. B = Randomised control studies. C = Cohort studies. D = Case-control studies. E = case studies/reports. +/- to be used to indicate quality within bands
Author: Nic Wray
Updated: 28 June 2022
To be reviewed: June 2025
Photo: Mckeeman at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]