MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Discussion & Experiences & Questions

Discussion in 'Support' started by calin, Sep 12, 2012.

tinnitus forum
    1. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      Share your experiences - I will start off with mine!!!

      Had an MRI (brain) today that my BNT doc and regular doc wanted. It was for the tinnitus and 2 dizzy spells I had within a year time frame.

      Well.... I was not very keen on being in a tunnel ---- for 30 whole minutes. My family members that had it and other acquaintances didn't care much for it.

      To prepare myself I looked at several you tube videos about the sound and the process. I also scanned some sites about people who had MRIs for tinnitus and hyperacus.... they were mostly not happy about it. Many said that the MRI made everything worse.

      I took all my jewelry off and left them at home and wore slacks without zippers or fasteners. I wore socks in case my feet got cold. I even used the magnesium oil on my feet just in case I got a cramp in my foot while being still in the chamber.

      So, I took an ativan and felt just fine. I checked with the tech about the decibel levels on the MRI machine (which he didn't know) and stated that I wanted the maximum ear protection because I know the machine is quite loud. I was given ear plus that spread to mold the inner ear and pads on each side of my head. The head cage fit comfortably.

      I could see the tech via the mirror on the head cage if I wanted.

      I closed my eyes when I was drawn in the tube and decided to relax. Ativan sure helped.

      The tech (through the speaker) told me how long each picture session word take just before he started. So, I occupied my mind with counting through the minutes.

      I must have dozed off a couple of times cause I sensed a dream.

      I was not given a pillow, so they comforted me with higher pillows under my legs.

      It was also comforting when the tech said we are more than half way through. The next time I heard him say something was that this is the last one - 2 minutes of loud noises.

      The sliding platform I was laying on at times vibrated. Wow... that was nice!

      I had no trouble and even found it very restful. If a noise started to bother me I would just continue to count. Many times I lost count cause I would doze off for moments.

      The unit was made by GE.

      I will now wait until the radiologist sends the report to my doctors - 1-2 days.

      When I asked if I could see what the pictures looked like, they offered me a free CD of them. How cool is that??!!

      Looking through them (the cd images) , I have no clue. Good technology though with the software to view the images.

      The not so good part....
      I had a $100 co pay. Yuck!

      PS, my T is not any louder after the MRI. ;) Oh, I am still a bit buzzed from the ativan...
      pardon if I don't make sense at times.

      OK.... now YOUR turn!!!!
       
    2. 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
      Calin, Thanks for sharing your MRI experience. I'm glad it wasn't too bad for you; it sounds like the Ativan was really calming and helpful for you.

      Did you have contrast dye as part of the procedure? That was the part I was most concerned about when I went for my MRI (about a year ago). The dye that they used for me was gadolinium, and I didn't experience any side effects from it.

      I had an open MRI, which helped, since I'm somewhat claustrophobic! Just knowing that I wasn't in a fully-enclosed area really helped me a lot. I'll admit there is a lot of banging and pinging during the procedure, but it did not affect my tinnitus at all, either. I do remember feeling a bit worn out and woozy after the procedure, but (since I was going through a lot of anxiety and insomnia at the time), that wasn't too surprising.

      I'd like to hear about other people's experiences with the MRI procedure. Anyone?
       
    3. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      I asked for a faxed copy of the report. I can't figure out some of what it means, but here are the parts that are not indicating normal, clear, no abnormalities, unremarkable, etc. or that pertain to the auditory parts (I think!!)

      This is the part that pertains to the tinnitus I think: "Thin-section T2 images of the internal auditory canals demonstrate a normal appearance of the seventh eight cranial nerve complexes. "On the left, there is a small superior nodular focus which reflects volume averaging from the adjacent bony canal." No vascular loops are identified."

      I guess I have to wait until a doctor tells me what the above bold sentence means.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    4. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      That's interesting... I felt woozy too after getting released form the tube!

      No contrast dye. Heard and read about too many bad results from it.

      How are you doing with the T and vibrating?
       
    5. 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
      Yes, I guess I thought the wooziness was from the procedure, combined with my other problems. But maybe it's a common experience.

      I'm doing better with the vibrating these days, since my pulsating is (usually) not as strong as it was. Not sure why! My T doesn't bother me as much during the day --- partly acclimating to it, and partly from the supplements I'm taking and procedures I've undergone --- and is still at its worst in the late afternoon/evening. It's pretty much a pattern.

      Regarding your MRI results (above): It sounds like you have a nodule of some kind that might be causing the T; is it noticeably worse in your left ear than in your right? It will be interesting to see what they say when you get the official results.
       
    6. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      Talked to the ENT about my MRI results. He said the sentence in question was an "artifact"... nothing to be concerned about. He said everything looked good.

      I will now go for the ultrasound on my carotid artery as he feels strongly that the pulsitile T is from a heart murmur he said he heard. I asked him for a VNG test as well since my head isn't feeling right lately.... light dizzy sensation at times or not centered/balanced...hard to explain.

      Very encouraging about your progress Karen. :)
       
    7. 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
      Calin, I'm glad your MRI results turned out so well. That's very good news! Will be interested to hear how your ultrasound results turn out.

      I can relate to the slightly off-balance feeling; I had that for quite awhile, for about 2 years. After working with my chir0 (chiropractic neurology), the dizzy, off-balance feeling is virtually gone. Looks like, in my case, it was a neurological thing.

      I hope yours is something that can be easily fixed. Did you say that the ENT was the doctor who heard your heart murmur? What is a VNG test? Best of luck on your testing!
       
      • Useful Useful x 1
    8. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      Here is a bit about the VNG tesr: http://www.stopdizziness.com/services_vng.asp

      Yes, it was the same ENT doc that heard the murmur.

      I may see a chiro doc after these tests. But, I have not been eating right, and I decided that I would make sure I eat a breakfast bar or something when I get up in the morning - right away. I felt better today after doing that. It's not my blood sugar as I can test that in the am when I get up. I have one of those testing thingies.

      Thanks for sharing the dizzy experience. That was helpful for me.
       
    9. 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
      Thanks for the information on the VNG testing. That is amazing!

      As for the dizziness, my chiro has been working with me on various exercises for the brain, that have seemed to help. I still have the pulsating T, which keeps me from feeling truly normal, because it's always there. But the brain exercises have helped me regain my balance quite a bit, and he says I have come a long way from the time I first began working with him. My chiro is specialized in chiropractic neurology, and has studied under a Dr. Carrick, who has had some amazing results with patients.

      You might want to view this video on YouTube:
      Nightline Dr Carrick
       
      • Winner Winner x 1
    10. Fish
      Balanced

      Fish Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2012
      Thank you Karen for this video... a great story.

      I wish you good luck with your chiropractor, hopefully you will get a lot better soon!
       
    11. 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
      Thanks, Fish! Yes, chiropractic neurology is a new kind of treatment; chiropractic is all about treating the whole person, so it seems a natural fit. Glad you liked the video!
       
    12. Andy

      Andy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Sept 2012
      Had t for 3 months now 24/7 and Hyperacusis (ear infection) and have been waiting to be seem by the tinnitus clinic it's always been loud but after my MIR scan its now at a higher pitch and louder 24/7 its been 4 days now and having to take pills to sleep have been of work from the start as I function with this noise I am now worried that the MIR scan has made it worse especially with the hyperacusis I am now at the stage that I am struggling to carry on cant mask it due to the pitch and white noise makes it worse due to the hyperacsis i am emotionally drained
      And I know I could not listen to this for the rest of my life (could anyone) the tinnitus has changed as before it went up and down with stress but it seems fixed now constant high eeeeeee as some of yours will know and I krrrr at most noises now not just knife and forks ect so what the hell do I do apart form saying goodby to life I am asking for help yet I think there's no answers to it all and that's scares me because anyone can see the inedibility
      Off it all
       
    13. Petloy
      Happy

      Petloy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Andy did you wear earplugs during the MRI scan. stay calm it could be just a temporary spike, try downloading cricket sounds instead of white noise if your pitch is higher, mine is even more shrill than crickets, for Hyperacusis try to listen to normal sounds slowly and avoid wearing earplugs unnecessarily our ears need to hear normal noises, listen to PINK noise for hyperacusis. How long is your wait to be seen by the Tinnitus clinic?

      One thing you must think always, is that as bad as it seems now, it will get better. In my 3rd month I too have battled changing pitches and volume perception...but IT will get better. Erik here on the board once told me that the first 3-4 months are volatile where you can see many up and downs...so Hang in there Andy!! It will get better!
       
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    14. Andy

      Andy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Sept 2012
      Thanks petloy
      Yes wore Gael plugs hope to see tinnitus clinic for the first time on Friday and yes I am holding on have been for some time Now
      but its hard if I could only see a end to it or some kind of relieve I know yours have herd the same think time and time again on this site but what else can I do there's so little help out there but I will let you know how I get on at the t clinic and yes petloy I hope one day I can cum on to this site and say hey look at me !
       
    15. Don H

      Don H Member

      Location:
      Edmonton
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2009
      Your ears we're well protected during that MRI so I find it unlikely that is the cause. If you had a coincidental spike you may have assumed that the MRI was the cause which would crank up the stress. I am confident things will settle down. Make sure you get LOTS of sleep.
       
    16. Espen

      Espen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Hey. Thought I'd ask on this forum for some advice.
      I've had tinnitus for 5 years now, and been to two ENTs since 2011.
      Both presented me with a perfect audiogram, and neither of them found anything wrong with my ears. Although one told me it will probably disappear in 6-7 months. It didn't. I decided to check with another ENT, he spent 2-4 minutes to tell me 'live with it', there's no cure.

      I'm not entirely sure what to do, should i visit my ENT who said it will disappear in 6-7 months? He was a lot more helpful to me. But he will probably just tell me the same again, there's nothing wrong.
      What strikes me odd, is that non of them even considered an MRI scan. (I've read it's pretty normal to do when you have tinnitus?). I have already checked my blood for zink, and my levels are normal.
      Do I need an ENT to consider MRI for me? Or could I just ask my local doctor? And is there any reason for me to take one? What does a MRI tell about my tinnitus? If MRI reveals some underlying cause, is it possible for me to 'remove' this tinnitus?

      My tinnitus consists of a low constant tone on my right ear, and a very mild pulsatile on both ears. Had problems with slow progression of learning mother tongue during youth, don't know if its related.

      I'm also worried that i can't go to parties anymore, because I don't know if my T is caused by loud noises or not. I'd rather avoid it getting louder.
       
    17. Fish
      Balanced

      Fish Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2012
      If you have a chance to do an MRI and you haven't done it before, why not go for it?

      It could reveal many things really... Especially if you have pulsatile tinnitus. Can you tell if it matches with your heartbeat? It can be caused by many things and in some cases it can even be cured. Our fellow forum user named Karen definitely knows much more about pulsatile tinnitus than I do, maybe she can give you some advice :)

      Also, check out whooshers.com - it is a good source of information about pulsatile tinnitus. There are some success stories about people who got cured too!

      P.S. Go to parties and have fun! Do not let tinnitus control what you can and what you cannot do. Just remember to have earplugs with you if you expose yourself to loud music.
       
    18. 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, Espen,

      I agree with Fish. If you are experiencing pulsatile tinnitus, it might be a good idea to be checked further by your doctor. If I were you, I'd go back to the one that made you feel most comfortable and helpful. Then, if the doctor agrees that an MRI or CT scan would be beneficial, he could order it for you immediately.

      I have had pulsatile tinnitus and ringing tinnitus for over 2 1/2 years. In that time, I've had both a CT scan, and an MRI/MRA of the head, plus a doppler of the carotid arteries. These tests didn't turn up anything, but least it put my mind more at ease that there is nothing serious going on!

      I hope you'll keep going out to parties, etc., and not let tinnitus hold you back! It's always wise to protect your hearing with earplugs; as long as you do that, all will be well. After you go to your doctor, I hope you'll check back in with us, to let us know what he recommends.
       
    19. Espen

      Espen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Alright, i'll call my doctor if i can take a MRI. I tried checking my tinnitus to my heartbeat, to me it had a rhythm like this: 1. beat - "loud" tinnitus, 2. beat - decreasing tinnitus, and right before the 3. beat it was loud again.

      And thank you for answering :)
      oh and happy new year!
       
    20. Lesky

      Lesky Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/1997
      Before undergoing the MRI, please read the following - please be aware the procedure is extremely noisy:

      As is the issue with hyperacusis people going to a dentist and getting cavity work done with a drill because of the noise, the MRI and CT scan "X-Ray" machines also have a sound problem.

      Finding the noise level of either one of these machines is difficult, because it’s not good for business. And "care-giving" is a business.

      Six or 8 months ago I finally found the sound level of an MRI machine on the web, but only because the company was one which helped to silence MRI noise from going into the next room. Your ears, meanwhile, will not be in the next room with a thick wall in between, but inside the machine.

      HOW LOUD IS THE MRI?
      "Many newer MRI systems will produce average sound
      pressure levels (SPL) as high as 100 to 110
      dBA,with peak levels of 120-140 dB."
      Next, we want to know how much noise you can tolerate. Below are numbers from the sound carts of this same Hyperacusis Network:
      40 -- raindrops
      60-- normal conversation
      85 -- busy city traffic
      90--hair dryer

      105 -- rock concert
      110--chain saw

      115--An Ipod at peak volumes
      120--jackhammer
      140--gunshot, fireworks
      The above sound level for MRI was found at the website:
      http://www.ets.lindgren.com/pdf/accoustic_manual.pdf

      I found it on the search engine typing in: mri decibels

      After the 6 or 8 ads at the top of the first "search engine" list page for "MRI decibels," it was the 3rd listing titled, "LMCL 1.02 acoustics manual"
      On page six of a some 20-page manual, it said,
      "With the introduction of more powerful
      gradient coils on today’s high field MRI
      scanners,MRI equipment is producing
      increasingly high noise levels.During a
      typical scan sequence,many newer MRI
      systems will produce average sound
      pressure levels (SPL) as high as 100 to 110
      dBA,with peak levels of 120-140 db."
      "During a scanning procedure, the patient is
      located at the epicenter of the resonator
      module (which is comprised of the magnet,
      RF and gradient coils).
      "Moreover, the noise can travel from the
      MRI room into adjoining rooms and
      corridors, thereby disturbing other
      building occupants."
       
    21. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Thats good info lesky. I am supposed to be having an MRI soon and had decided to take foam plugs (35NRR) and then a pair of plastic ear defenders on top. Wonder if that would be enough?
       
    22. Lesky

      Lesky Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/1997
      Well, why are you doing the scan? Is it really necessary?

      Personally I would never enter an MRI again if I was not dying after my experience last time. The machine is so incredible loud its terrifying.

      Its still one of the most horrific moments of my life - and incredible my hearing doctor did not warn me about it before sending me to the scan.

      If you really need to undergo the scan - wear earplugs + ear muffs (I only had earplugs)

      Remember also, its not only the sound, but the vibrations as well, and they are unstoppable.

      Imagine having 3 chainsaws on each side of your face, thats whats its like! But the MRI is louder than a chainsaw.
       
    23. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Gosh that's awful. I may have a rethink.
       
    24. Lesky

      Lesky Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/1997
      In case the MRI is not a life saver - I would say skip it. Would you want to regret going into the machine the rest of your life with possible worsening of tinnitus and hyperacusis? I have read your other post and you have enough problems already.

      I should note though that its possible you will be fine if you use double protection - as each individual has their own tolerance for these things.

      I just wanted to make sure you did not enter the MRI unprepared not knowing what to expect - everyone deserves that knowledge before its too late!


      FIRM CAN LOWER MRI SOUND LEVEL

      There is a firm in Philadelphia which claims they have reduced the sound of the MRI by 97 percent, last time I checked.

      Their free phone number for which states have noise reduction MRI machines is 1-800-736-8003.

      The 3 states I checked for, each had at least 3 cities which had these machines. So, there is a good chance there is going to be one in your state, if you’re in the U.S. Outside the U.S. may also have some machines.
       
    25. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Yes, you're right. I am in the UK. What's the name of this firm? I am trying to get the doc to re-refer me to an open MRI. There arent many open one's around. I wonder if these open ones are less noisy?
       
    26. Lesky

      Lesky Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/1997
      I can not actually find the name of the firm now, I found it on the web 2 years ago or so. Maybe they have changed website or something, too bad. I have not tried the phone number since then either. I am living in Sweden, so I am not in the USA either.

      The open MRIs are said to be less noisy, but instead I think they have longer scanning time generally. I am not 100% certain of this. But the open ones are not louder, thats for sure and the sound echoing its not as bad as in the chamber ones. It feels like a tomb in the closed ones, so the open ones are more friendly.
       
    27. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Yes, its due to claustrophobia that I am asking for an open one. I'll investigate the noise of the open ones. Thanks.
       
    28. 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, Louise,

      About a year ago, I had an open MRI. I didn't use earplugs, and I didn't think it was that bad. It didn't make my tinnitus any worse; all I remember is that I felt sort of tired and drained for the rest of the day. But I would recommend an open MRI if you can find one in the UK. I'm somewhat claustrophobic, so it was truly a godsend for me!
       
    29. Lesky

      Lesky Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/1997
      Wow. I am really happy for you to manage that without any problems. You must have great tolerance still for sound and your tinnitus is not easily worsened - which is great news for you! Were you not given/recomended to wear earplugs even?

      Going into the MRI without any hearing protection at all has caused many normal persons to get tinnitus and even hyperacusis. And they did not have any problems with their ears at all prior to undergoing the scan.
       
    30. 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
      No; I was pretty naive about it back then. If I had one today, I'd definitely take my high-quality ear plugs with me! But, I do think the open MRI is the way to go, if you have that option.

      You mentioned that an open MRI takes longer than the standard MRI; I didn't know that, either. It seemed to take awhile, and I was kind of almost dozing through it. At the last phase of the MRI (the MRA), I had gadolinium dye injected; that was what I was most scared about. But it didn't seem to be a problem for me.

      I wish everyone the best who is having an MRI --- with proper preparation and ear protection, I think all will be well!
       

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