How to Get the Quietest MRI Experience?

Discussion in 'Support' started by another sean, Oct 4, 2018.

    1. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      If you absolutely have to do the MRI, buy dielectric earmuffs and the best foam earplugs and make sure you can wear all that when you have the test. Your head will not be inside the machine, only your leg, so you will feel a bit less noise... if your hyperacusis or tinnitus is not very bad, you could be OK.
       
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    2. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing + Somatic tinnitus from dental work
      Your CT scan will be very quiet at just above whisper level.

      Also, your head will not be in the tunnel.

      You can wear earplugs or noise blocking headphones if being sensitive to a fan or air conditioner as sound comparison.

      Most likely they will allow you to wear your own, even if they contain metal since your head won't be in the tunnel.

      The tech can also borrow some headphones from the MRI suite.
      You answered your questions nicely. Yes - correct to both questions.
       
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    3. Tmah

      Tmah Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Does anyone know of quiet MRI locations in New England?

      I’ve read through the posts about MRIs here and see the Vantage Galan is the best. Unfortunately I’m having a lot of trouble finding any quiet MRIs in my area. The closest place I’ve found is in New Jersey. That’s with a Siemens MRI machine.
       
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    4. SuperNova55

      SuperNova55 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      ‘The problem with the Siemens Aera is that it is only a software solution to be a bit quieter (vs a hardware solution). Make no mistake it is just slightly quieter, and not enough for me to risk it. In quiet mode the scan quality comes down a bit and the scan length gets much longer, which is not good. There is an Aera at a prominent NH hospital.

      I gave up on Canon. Just despicable how they treat people in need of specific health care via one of their quiet machines. My guess is, they don’t give out locations because they have embarrassingly low #s of these machines in the field. Why? Because they cost 2 to 3 times the price of most other MRI machines. It would look bad for the company so they just say nothing. Just shameful!
       
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    5. SuperNova55

      SuperNova55 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I still encourage anyone in the future who comes across a Canon/Toshiba Vantage series MRI in New England to post here. I may be missing my window for an MRI, but it’s just a matter of time before I and others will need a quiet MRI in the future.
       
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    6. sean_hawaii

      sean_hawaii Member

      Location:
      Honolulu, Hawaii
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
      Does anyone know which hospitals on the West Coast of United States have Canon Vantage machines with Pianissimo hardware noise reduction? Can anyone share a contact for a Canon representative that has helped you find a location? When I called, they do not want to disclose locations. Thank you so much.
       
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    7. SuperNova55

      SuperNova55 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Can someone tell me if a Canon Vantage Orian 1.5T with hardware Pianissimo (as all units have this hardware tech) is quiet enough to not be a concern relative to aggravating tinnitus? Note this unit does NOT have the software Pianissimo Zen Quiet Sequence option.

      Does 67 dB for a knee MRI sound accurate for the Canon Orian 1.5T, with hardware (only) Pianissimo?
       
    8. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      Every Canon Orian 1.5T have both hardware Pianissimo and software Pianissimo Zen features.

      The thing is that you will never be sure to get the Pianissimo Zen sequences as this depends on the technician, body part, image quality needed.

      I have also been told (true or not) during my last visit to the MRI center that apparently the sequences for each MRI exams are configured and optimized once (for example after the installation of the machine) and then nobody will really touch them. The technician will only follow the pre-defined protocol.

      This is why it is important to get a Canon MRI because in any cases you will at least benefit from the hardware "protection".

      The Canon people I have discussed with in France told me that noise pressure for musculoskeletal MRI exam on Canon Orian is always below 85 dB. This is also why it is no longer legally required to offer hearing protection to the patient and this is also why Canon is no longer supplying earmuffs.

      By the way, for a knee exam, your head will be outside the tube so it will be a bit less noisy. With double protection, you should be fine (I did 4 MRI over the last 18 months, all with Canon Orian).

      If you read back this thread and the other ones dedicated to MRI you will have all my previous posts with testimonies, feedback and advice.
       
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    9. SuperNova55

      SuperNova55 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello Darktale. Your posts have been very helpful and is part of the reason why I went forward with the MRI. So a big thank you. Greg S was also helpful.

      While I wouldn’t call the Canon 1.5T a quiet MRI, I would call it a “quieter” MRI.

      The last time I had an MRI on a Siemens 1.5T, it was extremely loud with a piercing intensity. I had a huge flare up that lasted for 3 months.

      With the Canon MRI I am happy to report that there was only a mild flare up, which lasted a day or so. I was a bit concerned when the scan started due to the noise (hoping it would be less), but as you mention, some of this may be a perception of elevated noise, when in actuality it as objectively quieter than what is perceived. I drove 2.5 hours (each way) to have the scan, but it was time well spent.

      For those interested, the Orian MRI is located at Sharon Hospital in Sharon CT. The MRI is also very new, and is only about 6 months old. It is a nice/professional hospital and overall, a good experience. My ortho also said it was a good looking MRI scan, so no doubt, the Canon is not only quieter, but gives an exceptional quality scan. It took me weeks of searching online to find this machine (with no help from Canon), but glad I did.
       
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    10. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      Happy to learn everything went fine. And happy if I helped at some point. :beeranimation:

      I agree with you and I have already mentioned this a few times: Canon MRI is quieter but not quiet. However, they are "quiet" enough to be safe for us with adapted protection.

      Did you wear double protection?
       
    11. SuperNova55

      SuperNova55 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Yes, I wore Mack-type silicone earplugs, plus the MRI/hospital supplied NRR 30 earmuffs.
       
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    12. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      I live close enough to this MRI machine! So relieved!

      How was your experience with the staff? Did they understand your situation? Did you need to mention that you could only use the "quiet" scan?
       
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    13. SuperNova55

      SuperNova55 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      The staff was fine. I believe on this thread or a similar MRI thread, it was stated that the engineer sets up the scan sequences on the MRI machine before it is put into use. Then the operator just runs the preset sequence. If anyone has added input on this, please share.

      Scans/sequences for each part of the body are different though, with varying noise.
       
    14. Sentinel
      No Mood

      Sentinel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Late November/Early December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Really epic hobbies
      I remember back over a year ago when mine started I didn't realize how loud it was and I jammed the silicone earplugs so far into my ear canals that it took them a hot minute and some tweezers to get them out again. That was before I joined Tinnitus Talk.

      I'd wear earplugs and earmuffs in any case.
       
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    15. Shawn14

      Shawn14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise
      There is a mute option in Canon Galvan that lowers the sound by 99%. It’s called mute 3D T1. This is on top of Pianissimo software and hardware technology.

      Anyone have ideas where we can find these MRI machines? 99% on top of already lower noise sounds interesting to me.
       
    16. orbiter12

      orbiter12 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      18/03/17
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud club
      Back on here after a couple of years.

      I need a head MRI done (unavoidable unfortunately) and am looking to get the quietest experience possible in the UK. I’ve read a lot of horror stories about MRI making people’s tinnitus worse and @Ed209’s story was really shocking.

      In the UK we don’t really have a choice on which hospital we get referred to and what kind of MRI they use. I really don’t want to turn up to an extremely old and loud MRI machine in a mobile unit and be back to square one with unbearable tinnitus and hyperacusis like I was many years ago. I’ve habituated to my tinnitus now and go weeks without thinking about it and my hyperacusis is barely noticeable. I have been to clubs, bars, flights, tubes etc all with only temporary spikes and as long as I have earplugs in I don’t tend to worry about the noise but all of the MRI horror stories has got me scared.

      Has anyone had any success having a quiet MRI done in the UK, and what was your experience?

      I’m toying with the idea of going private or ringing different hospitals and seeing if anyone of them use a Toshiba Vantage 1.5T which is supposed to be the quietest but can’t seem to find any?

      I also heard open top MRIs are quieter although more expensive but I am concerned that the image quality won’t be as good?

      Any UK folk out there that have had the same issues?
       
    17. dd314

      dd314 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma + stress?
      I'm looking at going here but 101 dB is crazy, that would crush my ears even for a second, let alone ~10 minutes.

      Was it this one?

      https://www.princetonradiology.com/quiet-mri/
       
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    18. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
    19. dd314

      dd314 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma + stress?
      Siemens makes a type of add-on for their machines known as the Quiet Suite.
       
    20. Denco1

      Denco1 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      MRI with loose headphones
      Is there a 3T Canon Galant MRI in California or Colorado? I need brain, cervical and thoracic scans.
       
    21. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      That was my experience with a jaw MRI too. Excruciating pain for 3 months and I believe some hearing loss for life. It made my symptoms worse and nothing was found on the images.

      Doctors routinely prescribe dangerous MRI test even if they know there is like a 0,000001% chance of finding something weird, or discarding a rare pathology. They also know if they do find something it is seldom fixable, or there is a big risk in trying to fix it, with severe side effects etc...

      After so many years with hearing problems I believe there are very few cases where doctors do find something rare and fixable, and after they try to fix it things turn well.
       
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    22. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Large caliber rifles&machine guns, +30 years of loud clubs
      Back a few years ago when I had to do my deep stomach MRI, I researched a lot on MRI, called a few MRI hospitals and they even connected me directly to the operators of the MRI machines, who said that the GE's so-called silent software machine is not really quieter than regular ones.

      But Toshiba (now Canon) have patented quietening hardware mods which other makes cannot use, so any types of their scans are always much quieter, not really truly noise-less like a CT scan but definitely not damage-causing loud, provided you wear earplugs.

      I brought plastic earmuffs but the operator told me that those create image noise and lowers scan quality after a few trials, so I only wore my silicone solid earplugs for the whole 30 minutes and was fine.

      It sounded like being inside a loud subway car at the worst times but no more, so it was fine and glad I did the extra drive to get there.

      Only go for Canon/Toshiba, any recent machine will have those improvements. Mine was a Galan 3T.

      To find out the location I called the sales office and explained about my ear issues so they did give locations, and some hospitals may also tell you provided you explain why.
       
    23. Denco1

      Denco1 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      MRI with loose headphones
      Bobby, thanks so much for the info. I had given up and was so stressed I opted to do a 1.5 Tesla (against my neurologist's desire) instead of the 3 Tesla, as I could not find the Canon Vantage in my city or elsewhere.

      I had a relatively "quiet" experience compared to past MRIs on a Siemens Magnetom 1.5 Tesla. For the brain MRI, they put in earplugs and a small headset which did fit into the coil/head basket. Together the combination blocked out a lot of the noise and was comfortable for the 3 scans total. Had I had more time, I would have called Canon like you said, in fact I will do that anyway for next time. I have had 2 MRIs in the past 12 years which gave me hearing loss due to not being given adequate hearing protection. That is out of about 10 MRIs total. It it is well worth it to call the MRI centers and demand to know if they will provide double protection. The only bad thing was the radiologist's report was woefully substandard, he didn't bother to compare to previous MRIs and I can't deal with that, but at least I can say the Siemens Magnetom with double protection was far less noisy than the other experiences I have had in the past.
       
    24. SuperNova55

      SuperNova55 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I called Canon a few times and they were zero help. They said “they were not allowed to disclose locations”. I found the location of the MRI in CT from my research efforts alone.
       
    25. AMe

      AMe Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've recently consulted a number of ENTs and neurologists, and they've almost universally encouraged me to have a MRI brain scan.

      I underwent an EEG last week, and the technician told me that the data suggested that there might be something going on internally that warrants further investigation (I've also previously had a CT scan that didn't pick up anything insidious).

      Having read every thread that I can find on this forum regarding MRIs, I decided that if I was going to go ahead with this then I needed to find a Canon or Toshiba MRI scanner (with the quieter Pianissimo technology).

      After weeks of searching I've finally found a couple of hospitals that have Toshiba scanners (couldn't find any with newer Canon models). But, I wasn't able to find any in my own country, so it will mean a road journey of about 9 hours to reach the nearest one.

      I did find a GE Signa Explorer 1.5T scanner in a nearby hospital, and GE claims that this includes noise-reduction technology (though I understand that this is a software rather than the hardware solution of the Pianissimo). Based on a post in this forum thread, I understand that the GE machine is likely to reach 75-80 dB vs the Toshiba's 60-65 dB.

      So now I'm in a real quandary. Is it worth making the long journey to a foreign country for the sake of accessing a Toshiba scanner? Or should I just grin and bear it with the GE Signa machine?

      I realise that no-one can make this decision for me, and I've seen a huge variety of opinions and experiences on the forum when it comes to MRIs. But I'd still appreciate any input.
       
    26. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing + Somatic tinnitus from dental work
      MRI Noise and Hearing Loss

      Toshiba Pianissimo is 65 dB with proper fit earplugs for a brain MRI.
      I would call the hospital and ask besides earplugs if they provide a small headset that fits into the coil/head basket.

      You can buy a very small MRI headset online that would fit into most coil/head baskets, but they are rather expensive. Your hospital radiology department would need to approve.

      Take care AMe.
       
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    27. HearForTheParty

      HearForTheParty Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      I’d just like to add that I took the advice from a previous comment and used 3 layers of protection for the MRI I had two days ago and it worked like a charm. I was in a 1.5T Siemens for a brain/ear scan (for a potential cochlear implant fingers crossed). I used deeply inserted NRR 33 Mack’s foam plugs, then NRR 22 Mack’s moldable silicone plugs over them to create a seal, plus the ear muffs provided at the hospital. Granted, I have profound hearing loss in one ear, and moderate to severe in the other, but I barely heard anything. I mostly felt vibrations, but they weren’t very strong at all, and I wasn’t worried about bone conduction. I’d highly recommend the machine and the triple protection.

      I thought about using a sedative, because I did have a mini panic attack before going in, and I did have someone hold my hand (foot actually lol) while I was in, but the triple protection really worked and I was able to see it through without stopping. Just an FYI for others. My tinnitus started from noise exposure I’m pretty sure, and is moderately reactive (tones and loudness vary). I know we’re all different, but my experience was tolerable.
       
    28. NoelleMargaret

      NoelleMargaret Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concussion
      Does anybody know whether the Canon Vantage Galan 3T or the Canon Orian 1.5T is quieter? I've contacted Canon and several radiology clinics and they all have different answers.

      Also if anybody has experienced either of these machines, could you please tell me what your experience was like?

      Thank you!
       
    29. Baker

      Baker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown for 10 years, but later bad from loud fireworks.
      I'd also like to know if the scan times are the same for both machines, or does one take longer than the other when doing comparable scans on the same person?
       
    30. Flowergirl
      No Mood

      Flowergirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure / prob a virus
      I just had an MRI one month ago. It was nowhere near as loud as the one I had 10 years ago. They give you earplugs, the foam kind. It is bearable now. Good luck.
       
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