DOES AN MRI SCAN GIVE YOU CHILLS?
Here’s how you can combat the emotional stress, when going through an MRI scan
For some of us, going through an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a system that uses radio waves to create pictures of tissues, and organs inside the body) scan can be a nightmarish experience, especially if you are claustrophobic. Being strapped, unable to move, combined with the weird noises and daunting lights — going through an MRI machine can trigger fullblown panic attacks. According to various studies, this phenomenon can be classified as MRI phobia.
We got in touch with experts Dr Poonam Mulley and Dr G. Prem Kumar, radiologists, who list out ways you can combat the psychological and emotional distress when going through the scan.
An open MRI: At times, you can ask if the option of an open MRI is available. There is more breathing space in an open MRI. It has a shorter tube and is open from all four sides.
Familiarise yourself :Do your research and be prepared to ask questions. This will equip you to face the situation with composure and less anxiety. Music therapy:
Those annoying loud sounds of the MRI machine tend to induce stress. This can cause your blood pressure to rise, and make you anxious. To avoid this, inform the technician to put on relaxing music for you. Deep breathing and meditation:
This can help you relax during an MRI. You can also try the visualisation technique. Close your eyes and think of a happy place for yourself. Aromatherapy:
Technicians can infuse vanilla or lavender on the pillows. The soothing scent eases your nerves while being strapped inside the MRI.
Ask for support: A family member or a friend, is allowed to be with you during the MRI. It can be a comforting presence and takes your mind off the actual process. Mock trials: You can also go for mock trials before the actual process of getting the scan done. This will also acclimatise and help you remain calm. Medication: If none of the above help, then ask your doctor to give you anti-anxiety drugs. In special cases, where the patient is extremely claustrophobic, sedation is the only option.