Some preexisting conditions or concurrent therapies can present contraindications to HBOT:
Upper respiratory infections and chronic sinusitis make it difficult for the patient to clear his/her ears. Often decongestants are used to open the sinuses, and occasionally surgical myringotomy is necessary to maintain open Eustachian tubes. Sometimes it is better to interrupt treatment for three or four days to allow the respiratory infection to clear.
High fever can predispose to oxygen seizures but in such cases drugs can be given to lower the fever.
In some patients with severe emphysema and COPD the only stimulus to breathe is hypoxemia, as they have lost their sensitivity to normal levels of CO-2. These patients may cease breathing if placed in the hyperbaric chamber.
Patients who have a lower than normal seizure threshold may be more prone to develop seizures due to oxygen toxicity. If HBOT treatment is a requirement, additional anticonvulsants can be added to these patients' regimens.
HBOT treatment is absolutely contraindicated for patients with pneumothorax, or collapse lung, and caution is used with HBOT treatment if a patient has a history of spontaneous pneumothorax.
HBOT is not recommended for patients who have active cancerous conditions.
If a woman is pregnant, HBOT is not recommended for precautionary reasons, except in life-threatening emergencies.