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5 Tips for Dealing With Claustrophobia in MRI Exams

by | Jan 29, 2021 | MRI

The MRI machine is an advanced piece of medical technology that has revolutionized a medical professional’s ability to see inside a patient’s body without having to cut them open. It uses electromagnetic waves that resonate with the tissues in your system and records this resonant information through images that can be examined for various conditions. 

Essentially, it has taken the concept of the x-ray further without exposure to potentially dangerous radiation. The machine is also more capable of detecting more conditions in a patient’s body. The parts of the MRI all work together to help medical professionals diagnose and treat people.

 

What about people with claustrophobia?

Understandably, you might feel nervous about the idea of getting an MRI. Claustrophobia is one of the most common fears people have, so MRI scanning is a struggle for many. Having to stay in an enclosed space for around 45 minutes to an hour can make anyone nervous; what more for someone claustrophobic?

The tight space, the rumbling noises, and moving MRI parts can be nerve-wracking. To help you deal with your apprehension and anxiety, we have compiled this list of things you can do to relax during your MRI scan better. With no further ado, here they are:

  • Familiarize yourself. Try to do some research about the experience. How did other people with claustrophobia fare? What are the sounds made by the machine? Listening to audio clips of the MRI might eliminate the shock and surprise of the experience. 
  • Ask about entertainment. While this might seem like a secondary concern, good entertainment can help you stay calm. Many MRIs come with sound options, like internet radio and even Bluetooth. Some calming podcasts and soothing music might just be useful for you. 
  • Breathe. There’s a reason why mental health professionals recommend breathing exercises for people with anxiety. Slow and deep breathing has a relaxing effect on the mind. These exercises can also slow your heart rate. 
  • Cover your eyes. Wearing an eye mask or covering your face with a towel can create an illusion that you are elsewhere. You can fool your brain into thinking that you’re even in a different place. 
  • Talk to the technician. Medical professionals generally understand that a calm and relaxed patient is easier to deal with. They are likely to know what to say in this particular situation. You don’t even have to talk to them about the experience; you can try to distract yourself by asking them about other things. 
  • Ask about sedation. For persons with extreme anxiety and claustrophobia, sedation is an option. The sedatives won’t put you to sleep, but they might calm your disposition long enough to finish the examination.

 

Final thoughts

MRI exams are essential to accurately diagnosing plenty of diseases and conditions. While it might seem like an impossible task for those with claustrophobia, there are plenty of things you can do to make the experience more comfortable. Make sure to keep these tips in mind next time you need that exam; you might find yourself breezing through the examination. 

If you’re looking for information on the different MRI parts, send us at Direct Med Parts a message. We have resources for patients and hospital administrators alike. We also have plenty of MRI parts available for those looking to upgrade or repair their machines. 

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