HBOT or HyperBaric Oxygen Therapy, has been publicized in Dublin, Ireland.
Hyperbaric means “high pressure” – the theory is that subjecting the patient to high pressure oxygen “forces” oxygen into tissues. This helps tissues struggling to get oxygen through the normal route of the lungs and bloodstream.
There are some research papers on the use of Hyperbaric oxygen to treat conditions where the retina and/or optic nerve was physically damaged, or bhe blood supply is blocked in some way. (20070171),(19817243)(21577253)
Research on using HBOT to treat radiatioin-damaged eyes is conflicting.
There are no scientific studies of using HBOT on cells affected by LHON or clinical studies of LHON patients.
There is only one anecdotal news report of a person who was first affected by LHON at age 12 and began HBOT two years later. Some reports claim that HBOT preserved much of his eyesight.
Cases of LHON on children tend to have a better outcome anyway, so this one case proves nothing about HBOT.
At the 2015 LHON Symposium the scientific panel’s comments on HBOT were very negative. As the scientific experts believe that the damage in LHON is caused mainly by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), any treatment likely to increas the number of ROS in the tissues of the eye is a bad idea.
This page was last updated August 17 2015.