Claustrophobia is a fear of tightly enclosed spaces. So if this is something you suffer from, you might be very hesitant if you had to get an MRI.
There are patients who need an MRI but are anxious about the process. Before we go any further, you should know that some of the horror stories about MRI machines and the exam you might have heard in the past are in all likelihood outdated and no longer true.
Modern MRI machines are no longer the closed off and dark placed you thought they were. Modern MRI machines are open at both sides of the tunnel and very well lit. They are also a lot wider than they were years ago. Still, there are people who get freaked out when they have to have an MRI.
We recognize that MRI claustrophobia is a real thing and may still be an issue with some people. Vision Imaging of Kingston, your diagnostic imaging center, offer a few tricks and tips to reducing MRI claustrophobia and anxiety.
You are in Control
Keep in mind that while you are in the machine, you are the one in control. You don’t have to do anything you are not comfortable with. You can even ask for a sedative option.
Listen to Music
In some cases, you might have the chance to listen to music on your earbuds during your exam. This will help calm you down and keep you distracted.
It is perfectly acceptable to bring along a friend or family member for support. Make sure you choose a friend or family member who knows how to keep you calm, cool and collected.
When you are getting an MRI, you are never alone. Your tech can have a conversation with you throughout the exam. You can catch up on the weather, sports scores and how the family is doing. Before you know it, you are done and the ordeal is over.
Go to Your Happy Place
Sure, it sounds silly, but in many cases, it works perfectly.
Think about your happy place in great detail, down to how the sun feels on your shoulders and the smell of the air. If that doesn’t work, think about a happy moment in your life, with all of the details. This should be enough to distract you.
Covering your face with a washcloth or towel or even just keeping your eyes closed will help you feel like you are in a completely different space. You cannot see where you are, so you don’t at all feel trapped.
Focus on Breathing
It is a very simple concept that has worked rather well throughout the years. Calm yourself down by focusing on your breathing. This is a meditation technique that has a calming effect.
Another very simple technique if staying calm is counting. If you count very slowly, time flies by really fast.
Do your homework and learn what you can about the MRI machine and the exam procedures. Knowing what will happen and what noises to expect will help you feel in control.
You might be surprised to learn just how common feelings of claustrophobia are. Contact Vision Imaging today.