For some patients, getting an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan can elicit thoughts of being trapped in a dark, closed-off tunnel-like machine, and when it comes to thinking about what to expect during their procedure, MRI Claustrophobia is a real issue for some people. Below, we will take a look at some tips for reducing your anxiety when it comes to feeling claustrophobic in an MRI machine.
Education is the most powerful tool when it comes to feeling at ease during your MRI. It’s important to note that MRI machines are not what they once were. Most modern machines are well-lit, open, and wide, rather than the dim and unnerving shafts that you might be picturing. Find out what type of MRI your recommended imaging center has available, such as an open MRI, closed MRI, etc. If you struggle with claustrophobia, be sure to pick a facility that offers an open MRI machine
Ask Plenty of Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask your radiologist plenty of questions about your MRI procedure including what they are looking for, how long it will take, how you can prepare, and so forth. Some imaging centers will allow you to meet your radiologist—the doctor who will be interpreting your images—before the procedure. This is a great opportunity to come with a list of questions or concerns for them about your MRI.
Listen to Music
Studies have shown that some types of music can actually help you relax better under stressful situations. Ask your technologist if you are permitted to wear headphones during your MRI. For those getting an MRI of their head, this might not be feasible.
Focus on Your Breathing
Breath is a simple, yet effective way to calm yourself down by lowering your heart rate. Take deep, slow breaths, exhaling fully, and attempt to center yourself before your examination. If you want to prepare beforehand you can take a guided meditation or a Yin yoga class where they focus on breathing techniques.
Having someone you trust with you can help alleviate your overall anxiety. Sometimes they can even be in the room with you, as MRIs do not use radiation to produce images.
If you need to book an MRI in Manhattan, call the board-certified radiologists at Rosetta Radiology today!