Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Associated Cataracts


4.8 out of 5 (30 Reviews)



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Start Date

1 Sep 2023

Last Review Date

9 Jan 2024

Expiration Date

31 Aug 2026

Estimated Time To Finish

60 Minutes

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Activity Description

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves the administration of 100% oxygen at pressures exceeding 1 atmosphere absolute (ATA) for therapeutic purposes. A rare but potentially overlooked adverse effect of HBOT is the development of cataracts, which involves clouding of the eye's lens. This condition leads to significant loss of visual acuity and may progress to incapacitating blindness. Nuclear cataracts are the most prevalent type of cataracts that affect the central part of the lens and are commonly found in older patients. Although the exact cause of cataracts is not fully understood, recent evidence indicates that prolonged exposure to oxygen throughout one's lifetime is a primary contributing factor. This is particularly relevant when it comes to the increased partial pressure of oxygen that reaches the lens as the vitreous humor deteriorates with age.

Furthermore, experts attribute cataracts to oxidative and toxic damage to the crystalline lens caused by HBOT. Researchers have linked many reported symptoms to oxygen toxicity of the lens, which can cause myopia and the development and progression of cataracts. Commonly reported symptoms include eyelid twitching, blurry vision, and visual-field disturbances. This activity provides information about the possibility of cataract development in individuals after undergoing HBOT. In addition, this activity aims to equip healthcare professionals with the necessary knowledge and tools to improve patient care for this condition, highlighting the significance of early detection of cataracts induced by HBOT.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, physician associates, nurses, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Differentiate between the expected myopic changes associated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy and symptoms indicative of cataract development, enabling timely and accurate diagnosis.

  • Implement structured ocular prescreening protocols for patients undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy to identify individuals at risk of cataract formation or progression proactively.

  • Select appropriate interventions and management strategies for patients experiencing cataract-related symptoms following hyperbaric oxygen therapy, considering an individual's overall health and treatment history.

  • Collaborate with interprofessional healthcare providers and communicate with patients effectively about the potential ocular complications associated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy for patient-centered care.


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Commercial Support: This activity has received NO commercial support.

Continuing Education Accreditation Information

In support of improving patient care, StatPearls, LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


Physicians and Physician Associates: StatPearls, LLC designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians and PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada: Through an agreement between the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, medical practitioners participating in the Royal College MOC Program may record completion of accredited activities registered under the ACCME’s “CME in Support of MOC” program in Section 3 of the Royal College’s MOC Program.

Please consult your professional licensing board for information on the applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity.

Method of Participation and Credit

  1. Register for the activity.    
  2. Review the target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Study the educational content of the enduring material.
  4. Choose the best answer to each activity test question. To receive credit and a certificate, you must pass the test questions with a minimum score of 100%.
  5. Complete the post-activity assessment survey.

If you have concerns regarding the CE/CME system, please contact support@statpearls.com.


This educational activity was planned and produced in accordance with the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Faculty may discuss investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the FDA. Readers should verify all information before employing any therapies described in this educational activity.

The information provided for this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The information presented does not necessarily reflect the views of StatPearls or any commercial supporters of educational activities on statpearls.com. StatPearls expressly disclaims responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through a participant's misunderstanding of the content.

Unapproved Uses of Drugs/Devices: In accordance with FDA requirements, the audience is advised that information presented in this continuing education activity may contain references to unlabeled or unapproved uses of drugs or devices. Please refer to the FDA-approved package insert for each drug/device for full prescribing/utilization information.

Cancellation Policy: Please see the cancellation policy. StatPearls, LLC reserves the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances.





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Patrick R. on 4/17/2023

Good discussion about hyperbaric treatment and its potential complications involving the eye

James W. on 4/18/2023

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