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Ozone Therapy: How Does It Work, Health Conditions Treated With Ozone Therapy, Procedure, Side Effects

What is Ozone Therapy?

Ozone therapy is a treatment in which ozone gas is used to treat a disease in a patient.

Ozone is a form of oxygen, which in its liquid form is used to treat medical conditions and is also used as a topical disinfectant.

What is Ozone Therapy?

Not having enough evidence to support its effectiveness, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019 warned against the use of ozone therapy(1)

Some research suggests effectiveness of Ozone therapy in treating medical conditions by stimulating the immune system.(2)

A clinical review done in 2011, reports the following uses of ozone therapy:(3)

  • Treating arthritis
  • Disinfecting wound
  • Fighting against HIV and SARS
  • Treating macular degeneration
  • Treating cancer
  • Activating immune system

The effects of ozone therapy on the human body are currently being explored. This can help identify other potential benefits as well.

How Does Ozone Therapy Work?

Medical ozone has been used to disinfect medical supplies, to treat different conditions and prevent infection in the wound.

When ozone comes in contact with the body fluids, there is a reaction that results in the formation of more proteins and red blood cells. This leads to an increase in oxygen supply.(4)

Ozone therapy disrupts an unhealthy process in the body and can inactivate the bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast, and protozoa.

Health Conditions Treated With Ozone Therapy

There are numerous conditions where ozone therapy can be used.

Breathing Disorders

Lungs play a role in supplying oxygen to the blood. Those with breathing disorders can find relief with ozone therapy as it increases the oxygen levels in the blood. This reduces stress on the lungs.

It was found in research that injecting ozone mixed with blood can help treat COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).(5) The Ozone therapy improved the quality of life and the ability to exercise in smokers with COPD.

Ozone is an air pollutant and should not be inhaled. Breathing it in may cause damage to the lungs especially in those with respiratory disease. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is against using ozone as purifiers.(6)


Ozone therapy can be successful in reducing the risk of complications of diabetes.

The complication of diabetes arises due to oxidative stress, which is corrected by ozone as it activates the body’s immune and antioxidant system, thereby reducing inflammation.(7)

The ozone therapy can be useful in treating diabetic foot ulcers as it is helpful in wound healing.(8)

Immune disorders

Ozone therapy stimulates the immune system and can be effective in treating immune disorders.

A study found, injecting ozone mixed with blood in people with HIV reduced their viral load over for 2 years.(9)

This can help improve long-term health.

Ozone Therapy Procedure: How is it Done?

Ozone therapy is performed by drawing blood from the body, mixing it with ozone gas, and replacing it.

Therefore, before the ozone procedure, prepare for the blood draw by getting a good sleep a night before. Also, make sure you eat healthily and drink plenty of water during the day.

During the Ozone Therapy Procedure

There are three main ways of performing the procedure:

Directly Into The Tissue: For those undergoing ozone therapies for a wound or extremity problem, the ozone gas is applied directly to the tissue of the affected parts. The ozone gas is applied in a protective covering.

Intravenously: For internal disorders such as HIV, the ozone gas is dissolved into the blood taken from the patient. The blood with dissolved gas is injected back through an IV. This method carries the risk of embolism through the formation of air bubbles.

Intramuscularly: Ozone therapy can also be given intramuscularly. In this method, the ozone gas is mixed with oxygen before injecting.

Side Effects Of Ozone Therapy

Ozone therapy is not widely used, as the ozone gas has an odd number of atoms making it unstable. The instability can make its action unpredictable.

While performing ozone therapy, the healthcare provider needs to be very cautious, as the procedure should be performed in the correct place and proper amounts.

The gas should not be inhaled as it can irritate the lungs making it difficult to breathe.

Ozone therapy may be controversial but shows results. If wanting to try it for any health condition, speak with the healthcare provider to know about the procedure and the treatment plan. Make sure to choose a healthcare provider with a good experience with ozone therapy.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 2, 2021

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