Tinnitus and hyperbaric oxygen

Name of treatment

Hyperbaric oxygen

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.[1]

Evidence offered:

Papers available <10 (as in Cochrane review)[1]
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) [1]
Quality of evidence [2]

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.

Download this information

This information is in PDF format.


We welcome feedback on all our information. You can pass your comments to our Communications Team:

Telephone: 0114 250 9933
Email: [email protected]
or by writing to us at the address below.


[1] 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

[2] 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

Version 2.0

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)]

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