MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Discussion & Experiences & Questions

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

    1. BrStan@

      BrStan@ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I had an MRI in 2018. I can honestly say it was one of my biggest regrets in my life. It made my pre-existing tinnitus 100 times worse. What I mean by worse is tinnitus that's so reactive that everyday sounds make it spike permanently. Driving will spike it permanently, talking will spike it permanently any medicine will spike it. I can't be habituated to something that is always evolving.
       
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    2. Sonic17
      Wishful

      Sonic17 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ? neck injury/unknown
      How do we prove it? After I got tinnitus I inquired to the hospital about the MRI machine, they admitted the water pump was damaged... I asked what effect that would have on the machine and they said they did not know. I contacted a lawyer and was told because I was given hearing protection for the MRI I do not have a case. I do not think it was the noise that caused the tinnitus, but something with the magnetic fields. Try to prove it though...
       
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    3. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I've had about eight MRIs since my tinnitus got bad in 2010; most were head/neck and several were for tinnitus research studies of one kind or another. The loudness of different machines varies a lot.

      I've always worn 33 dB foam plugs under the earmuffs and I've never had any problems. I've only had one contrast MRI, and I'd avoid getting more if possible since you never completely clear all of the metal contrast agent they use, but routine MRIs are not something I bat an eye at.

      Magnetic fields don't cause tinnitus, but loud noise sure can, and generally the earmuffs provided do NOT seem nearly sufficient to me without properly inserted foam plugs underneath.
       
    4. Audiophile_bg
      Furious

      Audiophile_bg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Olanzapine/MRI
      Yeah, unless they gave you earplugs, you didn't have proper protection as those headphones are very thin and don't protect from anything. I was also wearing them and apparently that didn't stop the tinnitus from appearing.

      What is the function of the water pump on an MRI?
       
    5. Sonic17
      Wishful

      Sonic17 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ? neck injury/unknown
      I have no idea what the function is, I asked them and they did not know either. I guess I would need to contact whoever manufactured the MRI. I think it was Tesla.
       
    6. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      As ironic as that would be, it's usually measured in Teslas. Probably Broker or Toshiba, etc. They make tons of lab stuff.
       
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    7. HeavyMantra
      Bugridden

      HeavyMantra Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Steadily worsening since 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      So noise is the only concern with MRIs?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    8. Vicki3116

      Vicki3116 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Hey, thought I’d chime in here. I’m a radiographer myself, I’m guessing that the water pump is used for cooling the magnets of the MRI scanner. Usually liquid helium is used but of course that’s an extremely finite resource so any other option would be beneficial. If indeed the water pump was damaged, I don’t see that it would cause harm, only to the scanner itself. The way MRI works is by the precession of hydrogen atoms in the body to align in response to the magnetic signal. The images created are based on the amount of hydrogen in that particular area of the body, so any area of unusual density will be detected by being lighter/darker depending on the weighting of the scan.

      I don’t believe MRI can cause tinnitus through any other mechanism than possibly noise, the mechanisms of the scan itself do not cause irreversible damage as once the scan is done, the hydrogen atoms revert to their usual state.

      I’m not just saying this because it’s my profession, I myself have soul destroying, multi tonal tinnitus and I’ve literally just come out of my second MRI. If I thought it was dangerous, I wouldn’t have done it.
       
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    9. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      I cannot recommend an specific MRI machine, but a knee MRI should be perceived as lower sound that a head MRI scan. Your head will not be inside the tube (or open MRI), only your knee, so your head will be sitting further from the noise source.

      Anyway, use foam earplugs plus earmuffs (with no metal on them) for the test. Good luck!
       
    10. Sonic17
      Wishful

      Sonic17 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ? neck injury/unknown
      @Vicki3116, I really appreciate your response. I have always wondered what the function of the water pump would be and if it caused any harm to me in the MRI scanner. Like many of us on the forum, I am grasping at what could have caused my tinnitus. I received the MRI of my neck due to a neck injury, so that is what likely caused the tinnitus.
       
    11. Sonic17
      Wishful

      Sonic17 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ? neck injury/unknown
      Okay, I do recall hearing Tesla 5 or 10? The brand was probably Siemans or Toshiba.
       
    12. Vicki3116

      Vicki3116 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Hey, no problem. I think we are all very much the same, if there was an identifiable cause that could be corrected then we would all jump at that chance. I totally get it.

      I’m not 100% sure that that is indeed what the water pump would be for, because like I say, they usually use liquid helium. But the thing about MRI is the magnets inside are always ‘on’, it’s not like CT where you produce radiation for the scan, MRI magnets are never turned off unless there’s an emergency. So once you’re in the scan room, you’re within the magnetic field. You can’t receive a higher dose than expected as such during an MRI because there is no dose, it’s magnets and radiowaves that create the images. Obviously MRI scans are noisy but I don’t believe they can cause harm through the mechanism in which they generate the images.

      I think you may be right, the neck injury may be the culprit here. Have you seen any improvements at all? I’m sorry you’re dealing with this crappy condition too. xxx
       
    13. BrStan@

      BrStan@ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma

      There is definitely something more than noise in the MRI. Before I have done it I was exposed to much louder sounds with no issues. But the MRI was a game changer. It is completely different tinnitus what I have from it. It is always evolving. Everyday sounds make it spike permanently. And I am not the only one. I have spoken with another people that had the same experience than me. And no I don't believe what the manufacturer is saying.
       
    14. Vicki3116

      Vicki3116 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Hey, I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. I also have crazy tinnitus, sounds constantly changing etc, it’s not pleasant. I am certainly not doubting your experience, I’m just saying I highly doubt that an MRI scan caused any physical damage by the mechanism of obtaining the images. It is a form of medical imaging, but unlike X-ray/CT it doesn’t use radiation. Those modalities have an extremely minor risk of causing abnormalities within the cells of the body by the way they interact with the electrons within the cells. MRI is different as it uses a magnetic field to first align the protons of cells, then a radio frequency is emitted which causes the unmatched protons to also align and once the radio signal is removed, the unmatched protons return to their resting state, creating the energy that provides the images. Obviously you’re entitled to your opinion, but it’s literally the physics of how the equipment works.

      Correlation does not equal causation, and I get that everyone wants to know what has caused this awful affliction to occur, but ultimately it doesn’t matter because we can’t go back in time. You say MRI made things worse for you, I’ve got pretty severe symptoms and have had two MRIs with no issues. So where does that leave us? Yep, you guessed it... with the symptoms we have today, and we can’t do a lot about that. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this, I really am.
       
    15. BrStan@

      BrStan@ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      As said it's not just me. I have spoken to two more people that have it bad from the MRI and all of us were using earplugs. They said they have been exposed to much louder sounds with no issues but the MRI, although not as loud, caused a permanent spike in tinnitus.

      If you do your research here on the forum you will find plenty of people that got their tinnitus worsened from the MRI. If your tinnitus has been quiet for 4 years and it got immediately worse after the MRI, I don't think is just an accident. Again it is not just me, you can find plenty of testimonials on that. If your tinnitus is stable and doesn't react to the MRI, it doesn't mean we are all immune to it. No. We are all different.

      There should be a big label on every MRI machine "Caution, not to be used on people with tinnitus".

      Does it matter what you think, or does it matter what I think? One is for certain, the MRI does life-changing injuries to sensitive individuals. Can I prove you that it is just the noise that cause cochlear damage? No I can not. The manufacturer claims that the MRI is harmless. But after my own experience and plenty of others, I believe otherwise. And I will continue to believe it until a third-party independent clinical trial concludes: "yes the MRI is harmless like raindrops".

      Here is one testimonial from the web:

      Texas Woman Warns Others After Loud MRI Permanently Damages Her Ears: 'I Live a Life of Misery'
       
    16. Vicki3116

      Vicki3116 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      You said it’s not the noise that’s the issue with MRI, then gave an example where noise is believed to be the culprit?

      I’m not disputing that MRI machines are loud, they obviously are. You might know a lot of people who have got worse from an MRI, I know loads of people who didn’t. All I’m saying is that the mechanism behind MRI can’t cause permanent damage in the body. The noise might, but not the way the images are obtained. And yeah you’re absolutely right, it doesn’t matter what you believe because the symptoms are what they are. They’re here and they’re horrible and nothing is going to change that but overall MRI is an incredibly useful imaging modality with which the vast majority of people, with or without tinnitus, tolerate very well. If I do my research on the forum, I’d also find people who are concerned about the noise of the washing machine making their tinnitus worse. You can find anything you want if you look hard enough, but in the end it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t change your personal situation. We certainly are all different, so to suggest that people with tinnitus can’t ever have MRI is wrong. This is one of the biggest problems with tinnitus, no one actually knows what’s causing it in a lot of cases or why some people are more susceptible than others but living in fear and regret can’t be good for anyone, so I choose not to.
       
    17. BrStan@

      BrStan@ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      OK, it looks like you haven't done your own research or you don't want to do it. Here is a documented case of MRI causing hearing loss. If it doesn't convince you, I will find you more documented cases. There is no doubt that MRI can cause hearing loss. But if you don't want to believe it, that's a different story. Also, keep in mind that it's not necessary for any cochlear damage to manifest immediately with symptoms. You may have damage done but your ears may not start ringing immediately or a hearing test may not detect it straight away.

      Coming out from an MRI exam with no tinnitus doesn't mean you are all good.

      Sensorineural Hearing Loss after Magnetic Resonance Imaging

      What I meant is that the noise by itself is not the culprit, but I think that something else is going on.

      Every person with or without tinnitus needs to be informed before they undergo an MRI exam that the procedure is loud and can cause hearing damage.

      And every person with tinnitus, if it's not life threatening condition, should be advised for alternatives.
      That's good that you are radiographer. And you have an idea on how the MRI works.

      But what's interesting is how they didn't tell you that the MRIs are loud and can cause hearing loss. Now if that's true, it is alarming. It shows how little attention and complete ignorance is paid to hearing disorders.
       
    18. Vicki3116

      Vicki3116 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      That article gives no indication of the individual’s previous lifestyle etc so we have no idea how healthy his ears were previously, again it’s assuming that noise is the culprit and not the mechanism of MRI itself. You really don’t need to find more cases to convince me because I don’t need convincing, I don’t find it necessary to live my life based on other people’s experiences. People develop tinnitus for all sorts of reasons and you can’t reasonably avoid EVERYTHING that may or may not cause it. I have horrible tinnitus that’s to some extent ruined my life, but I chose to have the MRI because without it, the neurologist I’m seeing won’t be able to assess me properly. Is my condition likely life threatening? No. Is MRI the best imaging modality for what the neurologist is looking for? Yes. As bad as my tinnitus is, I recognise I still need to live in the real world too.

      The loudness of MRI could potentially cause hearing issues, the same way that CT scans could potentially cause cancer somewhere down the line, but there’s no way of proving that the scan was the catalyst for the conditions. The chances of either happening are small, and it’s up to the individual to choose whether to accept that ‘risk’. No you’re right, they didn’t warn me about hearing issues before I had my MRI, but then the place I bought my car didn’t give me statistics on traffic collision fatalities either.

      There’s risk of harm in pretty much anything you do in life, but only you as a person can decide if it’s a ‘risk’ you want to take. And to say that unless something is life threatening you should avoid MRI is a bit of a spurious statement because sometimes, you may not know if something is life threatening until you have the MRI. Yes, tinnitus is awful and I’m sorry for everyone who has to deal with it, but it’s not the only thing in life.

      I’m really not here to argue with you, I was just replying to someone’s curiosity about the water pump and it’s function. I really hope you feel better/see some improvement soon.
       
    19. Sonic17
      Wishful

      Sonic17 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ? neck injury/unknown
      Awww, you are kind. No, I have never had any relief from tinnitus. It started suddenly on April 16, 2017 in right ear, then a few minutes in later left ear. It started 2 weeks after I injured my neck. Initially I thought tinnitus may go away... after a couple of months I just focused on coping as I accepted the tinnitus seemed permanent.

      I often wonder if I ever have to get my neck repaired (surgery) then perhaps I have a chance of resolving the tinnitus. But deciding to have surgery on my neck is not something I want to do unless absolutely necessary; the possibility of things going wrong after surgery would be far worse than tinnitus. And so... here I am. On a Tinnitus Talk Support Forum :(
       
    20. Vicki3116

      Vicki3116 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      This is the thing, how far do you go trying to solve something that isn’t actually harmful but can definitely make life miserable? This is definitely the most frustrating condition I’ve ever come across, in terms of symptoms and lack of resolution. Ah yeah, I remember those days of thinking it was going to go away.

      Do you manage ok now or are you still finding it difficult? xxx
       
    21. BrStan@

      BrStan@ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      It is hard, it is very hard. If only I could go back in time and change my mind not to have the MRI. This MRI took away from me my family, my job and my life. Since 27th June 2018 immediately after this shitty MRI the nightmare started for me.

      I don't know about how bad your tinnitus is, but mine is growing stronger all the time. It spikes permanently from everyday sounds. I can only slow downs its progression by staying indoors.

      As I mentioned, I lost my family, my job and my life because of the MRI worsening my tinnitus.

      I don't want to argue with you and I am no one to tell you how you are going to conduct your life. I have had tinnitus since 1999, there is no article on internet I have not read about tinnitus. Also there is no doctor more knowledgeable than me on the topic. But you need to read a lot. Your journey is just starting for you. I was in your shoes 20 years ago. You need to educate yourself on the topic. Don't just jump to conclusions before you know what you are talking about. And if you are willing to take unnecessary risks and experiment with your tinnitus then I am happy for you. I am in a such a bad state that I can no longer afford that. Tinnitus is not like some other condition. It can completely wipe your life from the surface of the earth. It has no limit on how bad it can get. Imagine what you hear now multiplied by 100. You will then not ignore articles that are trying to educate you.

      If you have chosen to believe that the sky is not blue but it's orange, I have no intention to convince you otherwise. We live in a free world and everyone is free to believe in whatever they want as long as they don't do harm to others. I am not going to quote you anything else. It doesn't matter what you're going to write. I have no more time to waste.

      Wishing you good luck with your tinnitus journey.
       
    22. Vicki3116

      Vicki3116 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Hey, you’re right, you don’t know how bad mine is, but let’s just say that I ended up in a psychiatric hospital after my work colleagues found me in my bedroom after being in bed for god knows how long. I didn’t know what day it was and could barely speak because the tinnitus and the stress was so bad. I’ve been off work for almost 6 months and almost got sectioned.

      So yeah, I’m well aware of what it can do to your life thanks. I hear around 5 different noises, I can hear it pretty much anywhere, but I’m still not going to live in fear. I don’t need to read or educate myself on anything because no one actually knows the cause of tinnitus, especially in cases like mine with excellent hearing and no loud noise exposure.

      No one knows how this condition is going to pan out for any of us, but I need to get my life back and I’m not going to do that obsessing over something I can’t do anything about. It’s here, it’s crap, but this is literally my one life, and I want to live it, noises in my head or not.

      Good luck.
       
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    23. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      To be fair, she is not ignoring that MRI may worsen tinnitus. She stated that she is well aware that MRIs are really loud and can cause hearing issues. She stated her opinion responding to you saying that it might be more to MRIs causing damage other than noise.
      I'm really sorry for your suffering, I personally would try to avoid MRIs, because the one I got exacerbated my tinnitus, fortunately only temporarily and it was horrid, but many people do not react to MRI even with tinnitus. I agree with you that they should acknowledge the risk and inform the patients and never perform a scan without adequate hearing protection. But bear in mind, that even plugs and muffs may not provide enough protection to the loudness of the machine, if you are sensitive.
       
    24. Vicki3116

      Vicki3116 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Hey, thanks for your reply xx

      Yeah 100%, the possible potential of hearing damage may need more attention in regards to MRI but we also have to be our own advocates with health. If you have hearing issues and are wary of noise, you’re probably cautious of MRI anyway. Like I say, it’s all personal choice, and with any medical procedure or investigation it comes down to risk vs benefit. It’s never going to be 100% safe for everyone because nothing is, but you have to respect the necessity of the risk in some instances. I can’t ask the neurologist what he thinks of my brain if he can’t see images of it.

      Unfortunately things go wrong in life for whatever reason and the risk can’t always be predicted or completely eliminated. I’m really sorry you had a worsening after your scan, they’re not pleasant anyway. I’m glad that it was only temporary for you, and this kind of proves the whole point here. Some people have temporary worsening after MRI, some people like me have no issue, and some people seem to get permanently worse. I think what it comes down to is your own decision, there’s absolutely no way of knowing how a certain individual is going to react.

      It’s pretty much tinnitus in a nutshell. Everyone is different, we don’t know why, we can never definitively prove what causes improvements or deteriorations. It’s genuinely one of the mysteries of life. A noisy, annoying, horrible one that we could all do without xxx
       
    25. Sonic17
      Wishful

      Sonic17 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ? neck injury/unknown
      It is an ongoing battle, some days are better then others. I can concentrate fine now on things during the day, but sleep has always been an issue. I am also quite short tempered at times. I really feel tinnitus affected my self confidence, I tend to spend a lot more time alone then I used to. Initially I pushed myself so as “not to let my disability limit me.” Lately I feel exhausted and like just giving in to it. Trying to stay positive... but sometimes I feel like I can only put on this facade for so long.
       
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    26. Vicki3116

      Vicki3116 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      I don’t think I could have described it any better myself. I feel like I’m in a constant state of irritability, and my confidence is pretty much non existent now. Life just generally feels exhausting now overall. Things definitely aren’t the same at all, and I still struggle to accept that. As much as I try to think positively, there’s part of me that is always always sad about this. It’s not easy at all is it, it’s wearing and draining, but we are doing our best and that’s all we can do xxx
       
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    27. Peter Q

      Peter Q Member

      Location:
      Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Vicki, I see you have excellent hearing and no loud noise exposure. Same here.
       
    28. Mr_Orange_3737

      Mr_Orange_3737 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earwax syringing removal
      I've been having chronic neck pain and did some research into it. There's some suggestions to get an upright MRI.

      Does anyone know if these machines are as loud as regular MRI machines?

      I heard open MRI's are supposed to produce less noise. The upright ones look kind of similar.
       
    29. ViktoriaK

      ViktoriaK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress-induced
      Dear All,

      I have been registered for an MRI on Friday. I have stress induced tinnitus (I think, due to triggering life events) but they recommended me the scan anyways.

      I've just been told that the machine is "pretty loud", over 100 decibels.

      I really don't want to worsen my condition, just to get a negative result and some discount for noise generators (MRI is one of the conditions).

      Please advise - shall I skip the MRI, and also, could the noise generators help my tinnitus?

      My tinnitus is pretty loud and I seem to have a bit of hyperacusis too.

      Thanks for your advice!
       
    30. Vicki3116

      Vicki3116 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Hey, I don’t think anyone can truly advise you on this, as you can see some people appear to have worsening after an MRI, a lot of people don’t (myself included), but I do know that recently a former colleague of mine developed tinnitus, had an MRI and they discovered a neuroma, so it really is risk vs benefit and it’s only you that can decide whether to go ahead. I personally found it beneficial to learn that there is nothing structurally wrong with my anatomy but I know the fear of worsened tinnitus puts people off. It’s a really individual decision and I can’t tell you that if you have it you’re guaranteed to not perceive the tinnitus as worse, but no one I know in real life has experienced worsened tinnitus as a result of MRI.

      I don’t have anything to say from personal experience about noise generators, never used them, but I believe they can be immensely helpful for some people xxx
       
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