How to Get an MRI Scan?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Tenna, Dec 13, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Hello guys-
      I live in Denmark where our welfare system provides free healthcare yet no matter how hard I push, I seem unable to get an MRI as well as a CT scan.
      I have somatic t, a non-somatic morsecode on my left ear, spikes ofc, whooshing sounds once in a while, as well as regular outbreaks of pulsatile t. My head often feels heavy as it's filled with water, and my pulse knocks on the inside of my skull. Besides that I can often hear the blood flow in my ears, many things I read about in here which people have, to which I've always thought "Oh, I thought that was normal".
      I want to raise the question of what it takes to get an MRI, maybe CT scan?
      Should I present it to a GP, ENT? In all countries it seems like they greet you with a goodbye.
       
    2. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      I'm in Australia and an MRI was the first thing my GP did for me.

      I'd be telling then you want to check for an acoustic neuroma or any other reason which may explain the ringing.

      Can you have a scan privately? While I was referred by my GP and had my MRI within a few days this was only because I paid for it (about $300 au). If I wanted it for free I would have had to be revered to a neurologist and they would have had to organize it for me. Getting an appointment with a neurologist for ringing ears would have put me right at the bottom of the pile and I'd be waiting years.

      I also do t mean this to sound rude but I think you are quite young? Perhaps if you had your parents at the appointment with you your doctor would be more inclined to take action?
       
    3. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Tenna,

      I like Amelia's suggestions for you (above). Is it possible for you to have a private scan?

      Here in the U.S., it was my ENT who authorized my MRI/MRA. However, we don't have free healthcare here, and my insurance covered some, but not all, of it.

      I hope you are able to find a way to get an MRI. I didn't realize you had so many different symptoms, besides just ringing tinnitus!
       
    4. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      In Finland GPs don't refer to MRIs as far as I know. First need to get a referral to a neurologist / ENT, and from there get referred to an MRI.

      Using the free public health care system this easily takes months, if not over a year.

      Private MRI is a great option if you can afford it.

      But this doesn't directly apply to Denmark's situation. Things may be a bit different there.
       
    5. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      I see! It seems as if you even get through the public health care it will take ages. Nothing rude about that, just a good tip = ) I use my parents in such cases everytime I can get to, I might just try that when I've gotten a new GP.
      If not I'll wish a MRI scan for christmas ^^ no leg pulling!
      Yeah it's quite a different system Karen :)
      It's fun cause I've honestly always thought "It's np, everybody has this" rofl, makes me feel like an abomination it's quite a rollercoaster.
      I'll definitely check out the private options though, thanks!
       
    6. frohike
      Approved

      frohike Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Tinnitus_Flowchart_882_662.jpg
      On any path you will get zero or more tests depending on your particular case and country protocol. For example, I don't think you get a BAEP to diagnose a neuroma in the Spain healthcare system, but you get a MRI for that. Did you ask your doctor what is your diagnostic and how your symptoms fit on it?
       
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    7. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      That's an interesting scheme. I told my doctor about the symptoms and before I got to ask, she took one glance at me and said "It wont kill you, I dismiss you". (After that she told me that if any of my friends needed doctors, her clinique would like more young people.... ) =( I'm so upset
      Even as the road of psychiatric disorders are on the other half, everything including my pulsatile t is waved over as a related to my depression.
      They wont check for something latent until they see the tumour growing out of your eye, I'm too young.
       
    8. Relic Hunter
      Cynical

      Relic Hunter Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1990
      Here in the USA it is easy to get and MRI or CT scan. One only needs to be referred by a specialist. In a general rule most GP doctors will not order such a test. Specialists will not hesitate to order any test they see fit and usually the wait is very short for routine scans but they can be done almost immediately if the case is of a supposed serious nature.

      A lot of it here depends on your insurance. Some insurance carriers require the GP doctor to refer you to a specialist. My own insurance allows me to bypass the GP and go directly to any specialist I prefer.
       
    9. NeoM
      Moonlighting

      NeoM Member

      Location:
      America
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/31/2013
      To me it seems MRIs are rare when someone complains of tinnitus. I've never received one. But maybe that's because it was linked to noise.

      You could always fib a little and complain of headaches and head pressure that might get them to take you more seriously.
       
    10. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012

      Tenna,

      Sorry to hear you're getting the "anxiety/depression causes everything" runaround. I've been through that. If you don't believe your ailments are depression related, and particularly if you think the cause and effect is the reverse (medical problems are actually causing depression), then as troublesome as it may be to find another doctor, I say do it. Don't even mention to the new doctor that you are suffering from depression; you might do that later and explain why you withheld that info, but don't mention it at the start, and don't have records forwarded from your previous doctor until later if you can avoid it.

      I went through that stuff for 2 years before I proved the root cause of my so called anxiety was a real medical problem. I say "so called anxiety" because the doctors were interpreting my original symptoms as anxiety. After of few months of being treated like that when I knew better, I began to have real anxiety and depression because my medical issues were getting worse and I could not get any help with them. To make a long story short, that made things even worse from many perspectives. The more anxiety and depression I experienced, the more sure doctors were that all my problems were anxiety and depression. It became a self fulfilling prophecy for doctors. That is in fact how I got tinnitus: Against my better judgement, I took the Xanax one prescribed for the sole purpose proving that it would not effect my symptoms (thinking that would get doctors on the right track), and woke up an hour later with T. Then of course the T only heightened the doctor induced anxiety, which was then further exacerbated by Xanax withdrawal, and an idiot psychiatrist who would not listen to much of anything I said. I did not get on a path to getting well mentally until I got past all that garbage, and walked out of the shrink's office because I was literally on the verge of physically hurting him out of sheer frustration. At that point I just decided I would never get help from any doctor I had already seen, and I would have to simply start over. I wiped the slate clean and found new doctors.

      This anxiety baloney even spilled over to dealings with my family. For the longest time my wife believed I was mentally ill because doctors said one thing, and I kept saying they had it backwards. I must admit, nothing ever hurt more than my wife siding with doctors in that matter rather than me. It is still an extremely sore point for me. I hope you're not having to deal with that sort of thing on top of everything else.

      Based on the symptoms you listed above, I think an MRI is the right thing to do (full disclosure - I am not a doctor). If nothing else, anyone concerned about your mental well being ought to want to relieve whatever anxiety/depression you may be experiencing from not knowing what an MRI can tell you. An MRI without contrast is a very safe test: non-invasive, no radiation, absolutely no drawbacks unless claustrophobia is a big problem for the patient, or you have metal buried in your body that you are unaware of. Cost is the only reason to ration them. (MRIs using gadolinium contrast agents are another matter - free gadolinium can be very damaging to kidneys and causes an incurable disease called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. It is a big risk for people with kidney problems, but despite the party line, it is also presents a very small risk to people with perfect kidneys. Free gadolinium is the problem. Sometimes the ligand that holds the gado in something akin to molecular cage breaks down quicker than it should due to quality problems, manufacturing problems, or improper storage. If that happens, it doesn't matter if your kidneys are healthy; if they are exposed to free gado for very long, they will be toast. I'm mentioning this because it is a risk factor doctors rarely mention. Doctors other than radiologists are notoriously ignorant of the hazards of all contrast agents including CT contrast agents.)

      I hope I am not building up too much of a case for an MRI if you are not able to obtain one. I'm hoping some of my arguments will help you convince a doctor to order one if that is what you really think you need.

      Note that anxiety and depression are just different sides of the same coin depending on whether your response to the perceived threat is fight/flight (anxiety) or give up (depression). You only mentioned depression, but some of the symptoms you mention sound they they could be symptoms of anxiety if they are not something more organic like in my case.

      mick
       
    11. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      I would be scared to go into that chamber of very loud noises, also known as an MRI.

      MRI Scan (Brain) sound / (Kopf) MRT Geräusche
       
    12. EdnaLegume
      Cheeky

      EdnaLegume Member

      Location:
      Maryland
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/1999
      my ENT referred me to have an MRI 2 years ago. I'm terribly claustrophobic and never got around to it. I did have one about a year before that for a neck issue and was referred by my "doctor" who is just a nurse practitioner. That one I managed an open MRI. Tried regular.. panicked and had to be let up immediately. Left the building soon after. I'm in the U.S.
       
    13. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      I've had several MRIs. None have ever been loud; there is a lot of noise - mostly clicking - but by no means loud. In most cases I in fact fall asleep while in there. Maybe it depends on the machine.
       
    14. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      It seems like there are many different experiences, depending on the different MRIs :O Thanks a lot for all the responses and the thorough tips and tricks, it means a lot and I'll definitely go to my new doctor armed with all these!
      The thing is I am suffering from health/deathanxiety, and chronic pain + now tinnitus too woo. Armed with an artillery of disorders I'll keep on pushing them :)

      Mick that's really tough to hear, in unawareness many symptoms are treated and not the underlying source :( I'm sorry to hear your experiences really;( And yeah, despite what doctors say it's tough when your family goes along with the doctors credibility and authority, it's hard not to, but that doesn't make it right :/
      Update: I'm going to a psychiatrical center, the rolls royces of them here for them to scan my brain, and they're basically gonna test me for Everything, in order to rule out everything but the essential. The parts where doctors believe something might be psychotic or healthanxiety based, everything wrong with your body is ultimately waved off as that, as in your case at first =\ that's what scares me the most. With that plan, with my family and with all of the advice from you guys I think it's heading in the right direction! :)
       
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    15. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      In extension of these psychological testings, I'm getting both a ct scan, and MRI (All I wanted for christmas) so I'll definitely push them for potenial tinnitus answers too. Fantastic pieces of advices :)

      Also @EdnaLegume your picture cracks me up every time :p
       
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    16. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Im very depressed and borderline suicidal, LeQuack your comment and video attached made me cry. This moment Im having second thoughts. I dont know the noise lvls of the one Ive been referred to, i appreciate all the constructive input and its good knowing non noisy mri scanners exist.
       
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    17. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      My audiologist ordered one straight away for me to see if the tinnitus was linked with any blood cloths or cancer ... I think it is basic knowledge to do one when you complain of sounds in your brain!

      Ps it is not as bad as it looks and the sounds is not like too loud it causes damage + you get headphones on. don`t remember if there was music playing though :)
       
    18. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      True that. thats good to know! Getting an mri because of tinnitus, just to get a new hearing loss would be ridiculous, but that definitely makes me feel in better hands :) basically one can Wear earplugs +headphones then?= )
       
    19. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      I may have mentioned this somewhere else, but if you can, try to find out the brand of MRI you will be going under and see what kind of information you can get on it. Different brands have different noise levels, it also depends how powerful the MRI machine is also, IIRC. When I was doing research on it, I found out Toshiba have a range of MRI's that are significantly (30ish dbs) quieter than other brands and was able to locate one locally by emailing them. Definitely do ear plugs and headphones or ear muffs over the top if they allow it just to be safe.
       
    20. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      I just had another MRI the day before yesterday. I wore ear plugs and the left one fell out a little. Even with that, the noise was not bad at all. There is a lot of whirring and clicking. Mine was about 25 mins. I just did my best to lay there with my eye closed and think pleasant thoughts. I've had other MRIs where they gave me head phones that piped in music. (These are pneumatic devices since clearly the magnets in electronic headphones would yank them of your head when the MRI is on). If you find one that provides music, I would recommend it. It does help relax you. I'm not trying to mislead anyone into believing an MRI is like laying on the beach. It is mildly anxiety producing, and you have to work a little to keep any anxiety you experience from getting out of hand. Rational thoughts about what is going on (you have air, freedom is only a few feet away, people are observing you making sure you are safe, it will be over soon, it is worth the discomfort, etc) keep the anxiety in check.
       
    21. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      Sorry didn't mean to scare you, after all I may be wrong since I have no first hand experience with it and just assume that it would be loud, since everything is loud to me. You best stick to the advice of people who've gone trough the MRI process already. And if you wear some good earplugs I'm sure it's gonna do the trick.
       
    22. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      @Tenna - I think the stress over the MRI will spike your T more than the actual MRI.

      Don't get me wrong, it's loud - but not as loud as is expected and it didn't change my T in volume at all.

      I wore ear plugs, and they gave me headphones over those so it blocked a fair bit out. Plus the loud noises aren't constant so it's not like having your head in a constant noise environment for 30 minutes

      Took less time than they told me it would because I stayed perfectly still. So don't move and they won't have to re-do any portions of it :)

      You will be fine xxx
       
    23. noisepig_13
      Inspired

      noisepig_13 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      I had an MRI in Melbourne, Australia recently and my god was it loud!! I got no bloody warnings about the loudness. It sounded like hard obnoxious dance music. 3 minutes in I started yelling at the technicians to get me the hell out of there, so I could put ear plugs in, which they did somewhat begrudgingly haha.

      But yeah, the experience is fine with ear protection. Bring your own, or make sure they give you plugs.
       
    24. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Ive always liked dance music so if thats all ill hear in the distance :p
      Ill definitelu bring plugs and insist on extra headphones. That combo even keeps the churchbells NeXT to our house, out in the erlu morning cheers.
      Yeah ill try to see if i cant check the brand and noise levels. Thats alright lequack, im very anxious, pressured and sensitive myself so the least thing has high impact :)
      the anxiety of getting hearing loss or more tinnitus from having it all checked isindeed .. ugh.. yes thats the word, prior to onset id be thrilled to be in that machine. Thanks guys im much more calm about it now
       
    25. MissionForTheCure
      Woot

      MissionForTheCure Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2009
      Hi Tenna, yonkapin has a fair point, I had an MRI done and it was similar to the video posted (although this isn't to scare :) - I was given earplugs and headphones which really helped) It's definitely worth getting one done though to see if there is anything else which could explain the ringing.

      Can anyone explain what a CT scan is, does that involve loud noises during the examination??

      Thanks in advance and roll on AM-101!!!

      Mission
       
    26. kasart
      No Mood

      kasart Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unspecified
      From my understanding - an MRI has little or no radiation compared to a CT. I think some radiologists provide patients with more comfortable gear, like cloth to cover eyes and something for your ears(plugs) to dull the sound. You could always ask ahead of time to bring them to the appt. They asked me if I wanted to wear the earmuff, even though I have 112 db deafness! :dohanimation: Hmmm....
       

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