We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Side Effects of Oxygen Therapy?

Alex Tree
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The side effects of oxygen therapy are few and rare, but can include ear pain, ear drum rupture, and trauma to the sinuses. Ear pain or discomfort is the most common side effect, which occurs as the body tries to adjust to the therapy. Rupture of the ear drum is significantly less common, but is most likely to happen in people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Barotrauma to the nasal sinuses is especially rare and happens for reasons similar to ear drum rupture. Overall, oxygen therapy is a safe treatment with minimum side effects if a person has no health conditions that might be worsened by it, though the therapy’s equipment can be dangerous.

Ear pain is among the most common side effects of oxygen therapy. The pain occurs as the body tries to equalize the pressure between the ears. In some cases, the inner ear is physically damaged due to the above-normal pressure. Some people experience mild discomfort rather than pain, but the discomfort should still be noted, as it can indicate a complication.

Deaf and hard of hearing people are more likely to experience certain kinds of ear problems as side effects of oxygen therapy. For example, some people experience the rupture of the ear drum. Ear drum ruptures can lead to further hearing loss and can take a month to heal. In some cases, if the ear drum fails to heal on its own, a doctor might place a patch over it as an out-patient procedure.

Sometimes, a person experiences barotrauma to his or her sinuses. Barotrauma is a physical wound that occurs in a person’s body because of a difference in air pressure. For example, some underwater divers are at risk of barotrauma when they dive too deep or surface too quickly. While barotrauma from certain activities like diving can sometimes be fatal, this is not so with oxygen therapy.

Some health conditions can be worsened by oxygen therapy. For example, heart attack patients and people who suffer from asthma may not respond positively to the treatment. Oxygen therapy is still being explored, however, and there might be many other conditions negatively affected by it.

Oxygen therapy carries a risk of fire because it requires a concentrated supply of oxygen. If compressed oxygen is exposed to sparks, it can explode and set fire to its surroundings. This risk can be avoided if triggering elements are kept away from the concentrated oxygen. Oxygen does not explode on its own, and its volatility can be managed with care.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and WiseGeek contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
Discussion Comments
Alex Tree
Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and WiseGeek contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.