Tag Archives: claustrophobia


MRI Fears: Relieving MRI Claustrophobia


MRI Fears




Claustrophobia affects many people’s daily life. Those who suffer from this phobia can find MRI’s to be a nightmare. We understand claustrophobic patients can find it difficult to overcome their MRI anxieties, but we have offered a few ways that can put you at ease when undergoing an MRI.

1) Consider drug therapy. This is only appropriate for extreme circumstances where a patient believes that their claustrophobia will legitimately keep them from completing an MRI procedure. Drugs should be temporary, used only for the procedure, prescribed by a doctor and also approved by the facility doing the MRI.

2) Think about herbal remedies. There are a lot of natural herbal medicines that help ease the anxiety caused by claustrophobia. Two of the most effective herbs are passionflower and kava. These can be taken as tablets or capsules, or used in teas and tinctures as well.

3) Use various relaxation techniques. If you start to panic, breathe in through your nose for ten seconds and then exhale through your mouth for ten more seconds. Continue the pattern to help slow your heart rate. Try to think about happy or relaxing things while you’re in the MRI machine as well. Our centers also allow you to listen to music during your procedure, which is a great distraction for patients and can help keep them feeling calm and relaxed.

4) Have a friend in the room. If you’re feeling nervous, it always helps to have someone in the room with you. Our technologists are always available to sit with patients during their procedures, to hold their hands, or even just to keep up a conversation with them during the procedure.

5) Find an alternative machine. If you suffer from claustrophobia, it’s highly recommended that you have your MRI procedure at a facility that has open MRI machines. Rather than placing your head inside a small tube, open MRI machines provide much more space for patients. You can see the difference in the images below. The first one is a traditional closed MRI machine, the second is an open MRI machine.

Fortunately for you, we utilize Open MRI technology for all of our scans. Open MRI scanners offer a more comfortable MRI experience for patients who suffer from claustrophobia. If you have any concerns about your appointment, give us a call or let one of our technicians know so we can provide you with a comfortable experience.