The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared hyperbaric chambers for certain medical uses, but so far, treatment of Autism isn’t “approved”.

A recent Consumer Update on the FDA’s website explains it this way,

The FDA is concerned that some claims made by treatment centers using HBOT may give consumers a wrong impression that could ultimately endanger their health.

“Patients may incorrectly believe that these devices have been proven safe and effective for uses not cleared by FDA, which may cause them to delay or forgo proven medical therapies,” says Nayan Patel, a biomedical engineer in FDA’s Anesthesiology Devices Branch. “In doing so, they may experience a lack of improvement and/or worsening of their existing condition(s).”

Autism and Hyperbarics

“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen dissolved in your blood,” says Patel. 

“If you’re considering using HBOT, it’s essential that you first discuss all possible options with your health care professional,” Patel says. “Whatever treatment you’re getting, you need to understand its benefits and risks. Your health care professional can help you determine which treatment is your best option.”

The lack of FDA-approval does not necessarily mean that using HBOT for “off-label’” treatment is unsafe. The approval process of a new drug or medical treatment requires extensive, expensive, and time-consuming research and testing. HBOT is still a relatively new treatment for ASD. The steps involved in the approval process have begun, but because the technology is not under patent, no one company has the incentive to spend the money for extensive scientific research. 

Many alternative medicinal treatments lie just beyond the umbrella of what the FDA promotes and has approved. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one of them. Due to its non-invasive nature and generally mild side effects, HBOT continues to see an increase in popularity as success stories spread.

The job the FDA does is a crucial one. By rigorously testing and inciting research into a myriad of medical treatments, Americans are protected from false pharmaceutical claims, drug scams, untested procedures, and overt bodily harm. Unfortunately, in the process of vetting treatments for absolute success, there is a potential for progressive, alternative health solutions to either fall through the cracks or be misrepresented to the public.

It is important to do independent research into any new treatment plan, medication, or health regimen before integrating it.

Is HBOT right for your ASD child?

Only you can make that decision, but the experts at Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy of Western New York can help. We have successfully treated Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorders with HBOT and can answer your questions and address any concerns you may have. Visit us at or call us: (585) 426-8969