Claustrophobic Patients Can Prepare for an MRI

by | Jul 2, 2024 | Health and Medical

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Claustrophobia is a real disorder that can cause extreme reactions in patients who suffer from it. People who suffer from claustrophobia often find their bodies becoming hotter, have trouble breathing, and suffer from panic attacks due to the disorder. For such people, the thought of lying down on a narrow table and being slid into a very narrow tube as into the throat of a loud, suffocating beast creates even more stress and tension. In the case of MRI, claustrophobia can be a deal killer, even when the procedure is sorely needed.

In most cases, having an MRI involves lying down prone on a sliding table and entering into the narrow confines of a machine. Many people who are not diagnosed as technically claustrophobic may begin to exhibit symptoms for the first time when they have an MRI. For this reason, it is a good idea to communicate with your doctor and diagnostic technicians if you are claustrophobic, as well as if you have a lot of trepidation and dread at the thought of the MRI itself. In most cases, it is possible for the MRI staff to treat you with a mild sedative in order to help you better control your claustrophobia during the procedure.

Another technique for dealing with MRI claustrophobia is to deprive your senses of experiencing the procedure. You can do this by wearing earplugs in order to drown out the hum, clicks and bangs of the machine, as well as by requesting a towel to cover your eyes if that is permissible.

It may be possible to have an open MRI to help you deal with MRI claustrophobia. This involves using a machine that is designed to give you a better sense of space with flared openings and sides that are cut away so that you can see outside the machine. These kinds of scanners are also usually a lot quieter than their counterparts. Many patients report the feeling of more breathing space and the ability to make eye contact with others outside the machine is a great way to overcome MRI claustrophobia while being professionally diagnosed.

If an open MRI scanner is not available to you, there are other ways to prepare yourself besides sedation. Many claustrophobic patients find that they derive a tremendous benefit from learning meditation techniques in order to calm themselves not only during an MRI, but in dealing with serious conditions, such as cancer, as well as other life-threatening diseases and illnesses. Learning techniques to calm the mind through relaxing the body can give you a significant advantage not only when having an MRI scan, but more generally, in helping you to deal with a claustrophobic condition, as well.