MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Discussion & Experiences & Questions

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

    1. Sonic17
      Wishful

      Sonic17 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ? neck injury/unknown
      In 2017 I had an MRI for a neck injury. 2 days after the MRI I got tinnitus and hyperacusis.... now I am on this forum. Enough said...
       
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    2. Tavia R

      Tavia R Member

      Location:
      Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      Born with condition
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Born with condition-recently diagnosed/treated for migraines
      So yeah, just about the most reckless and desperate thing that someone with pain hyperacusis can do: get an MRI. Well that’s exactly what I did. It wasn’t exactly what I had planned today. I had one scheduled for May 19th, but these past two days I’ve had these random stabbing pains that are so intense that my father kept trying to take me to the emergency room. I mean I’ve always had these pain episodes, but they just barely got really bad.

      Finally my dad got a hold of my doctor and gave them quite an earful; he’s really struggling watching how much my condition is impacting my life and just how many things I’m restricted on doing. I guess he finally snapped and he snapped on them because he got me an emergency MRI scheduled. I definitely needed it, my pain was so bad, I never knew when an episode was coming or how long it would last.

      So, I told the nurse that I had hyperacusis when she was grabbing my scrubs out of a cabinet. She loudly said “what?” and slammed the cupboard door shut. Needless to say, no one there had a clue what that was.

      To make matters worse, when I told them that I needed maximum hearing protection, they told me that I could only wear a set of foam earplugs because earmuffs wouldn’t fit in the head scanner. I will admit, I was so scared and in so much pain from being in the middle of another episode that I just started crying right there in the hallway in front of all the nurses and secretaries. I’m way past embarrassment, I feel completely justified.

      I stayed calm for most of the MRI, and I will say, it didn’t hurt as much in the moment as I thought it would. BUT, I have learned that my hyperacusis is very unique (I think? That’s what it sounds like) as most of the time noises do not hurt in the moment but will cause soreness and stabbing pains that can last moments, hours, days, or weeks after. A blender could be moments, a concert days, and this MRI, well... I guess we’ll see.

      So yeah I’m in a ton of pain right now, I’ve cried so much today my temples hurt, and I learned that crying without moving in an MRI machine is one of my talents. And good news, my MRI is clean, as far as we can tell my tinnitus, hyperacusis, stabbing pains, visual auras, dizzy spells, always feeling like crap, etc etc are due to migraines. I’m already being treated for migraines so yeah, we just need to find a treatment that works. Non of the many we’ve tried so far far have because obviously I’m getting worse and fast.

      But all in all, I feel really proud of myself. If I have hyperacusis and tinnitus and face an MRI machine I guess that makes me really brave. And pretty hard core - I’ll feel much cooler wearing my leather jackets after today.
       
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    3. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      You should feel proud of yourself. Job well done!
       
    4. ASilverLight
      In pain

      ASilverLight Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise, stress and a neck injury.
      I have a neurological condition that requires MRI scans periodically (preferably 1x a year). I've had a coupe between the ages of 16-18 (I was diagnosed with this condition at 16) then another 2 last year (6 months apart) except I'm terrified of ever getting one again now.

      Yikes.
       
    5. Audiophile_bg
      Furious

      Audiophile_bg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Olanzapine/MRI
      Wow, AND hyperacusis? This is disgusting. I feel you, I got tinnitus too from an MRI.
       
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    6. nash13

      nash13 Member

      Location:
      Los Angeles
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dentist drill, stress
      Hello,

      I got an MRI and I received this result. I'm talking with my doctor but wanted to see if anyone understood what this meant and if there is treatment. I'm a bit freaked out cause I can't comprehend what this means.
      The MRI suggests it could be the cause of my severe tinnitus in my left ear.

      FINDINGS:
      There is a 10.4 by 6.5 by 6.2 mm arachnoid granulation protruding within the lateral aspect of the left transverse sinus and resulting in severe left transverse sinus stenosis. The right transverse sinus is unremarkable.

      Thank you.
       
    7. Ella114

      Ella114 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I’m going in for an MRI soon (for my knee and hip) and I’ve heard that they are very loud.

      I’ve had tinnitus for about 3 months now and I’m just starting to get used to it and living my life normally again.

      I’m going to be provided with ear plugs and ear muffs but even then I’m quite anxious, as I’ve read some people didn’t have a pleasant experience with it.

      I’m worried about causing a permanent spike, if that happens I don’t know if I can do it again.

      Has anyone had any experience getting an MRI? Please let me know.

      Thank you,

      Ella
       
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    8. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      For a knee or hip you don't need to be inside the tube, just the parts that need imaging will be inside. Even so, it would be better to find an open MRI and look for the quietest MRI machine. Do ask questions to the technicians that will operate the machine, regarding noise etc. Ask before booking your appointment.
       
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    9. Ella114

      Ella114 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for your reply. I will definitely go ahead and ask the questions :)
       
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    10. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Insist that you can use your own earplugs, and won't be rushed for insertion so they can be placed deep. Also, you want real ear muffs, and not the headphones that are more designed so you can hear music and instructions from the tech. Finally, be aware that even with all of these precautions, some users still have spikes in tinnitus after. A quiet MRI is the best choice, and an open MRI is an alternate if no quiet ones can be located.
       
    11. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      May I ask you how the MRI went? And if it's not too nosy what was the indication for the knee MRI?

      My knee has been popping/cracking for some days at every step, out of the blue. If it doesn't subside I will have a medical appointment about it (if COVID-19 lets me...), but I had quite a traumatic, even though not very long spike after my brain MRI, so I'm hoping that if the symptoms stay, I can get an other type of scan and avoid the MRI.
       
    12. TBH
      Depressed

      TBH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Constant ringing recent, hum few years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unwanted tests by Incompetent NHS hospital staff
      Has anyone with tinnitus on Tinnitus Talk had any benefit whatsoever from having an MRI/MRA scan and did it aggravate your tinnitus? I assume magnetic fields aren't ideal when we have a condition such as we do.

      Is anyone on here glad they had it done, or felt it’s a waste of time and money and made you even worse.

      I don't see any mileage in having it but ENT surgeon who can't help me or explain anything, suggested I have it. I'd be interested to hear from any of you that have had it done. Thank you.
       
    13. donotringatme

      donotringatme Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, TMD, CI
      I’ve had one two weeks ago and I’ll have an MRA and another MRI soon. It didn’t make tinnitus worse than it was on day 1. I was also hyper alert of sounds at the time so that didn’t make it easier. I put a lot of cotton in my ears and then the headset and it was loud. My tinnitus isn’t noise-induced though. MRI and MRA are mandatory for tinnitus IMHO, if somatic. If tinnitus is from trauma, I wouldn’t risk it. I’d just take cortisone and wait it out tbh with some ENT tests to rule a few things out.
       
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    14. Orions Pain
      Sad

      Orions Pain Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      If tinnitus is your only symptom and you don’t have things like balance issues, extreme migraines, blurry vision/double vision or any other types of major signs of a brain issue, an MRI is very unlikely to show anything that will help you with your tinnitus and you risk a spike/hyperacusis. Doctors will always send you for testing just to “rule stuff out” when they don’t have any answers but that doesn’t always mean that there is any benefit from the testing.
       
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    15. TBH
      Depressed

      TBH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Constant ringing recent, hum few years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unwanted tests by Incompetent NHS hospital staff
      Thanks, Mine was caused by ENT tests 12 months ago, and it's not improving whatsoever, so not strictly noise induced, but I have hyperacusis from it also. Cortisone does what exactly, for tinnitus? How long can anyone wait it out when you have highs and low noises in your head every day for over a year, realistically?
      I've had occasional dizziness and balance problems since, but that may be from the stress that this condition has caused and a lot of lack of sleep because of it. I won't have any ENT tests done again as it's the cause of whatever I have now. But whoever you go and see for another opinion always want to do the tests that got me here in the first place and I won't ever have them again.

      Thank you both for your replies, I don't think I want to risk making this even worse than it is, I suffer enough 24/7 from it. I think I'd be overly sensitive to MRI, just because of the damage the ENT tests have caused me.

      I was told on here it can improve after 12 - 18 months, but I'm in month 13 and there is not the slightest part of it that has eased, it's full pelt as I type, so I'm pessimistic that it can improve at all if it hasn't subsided remotely after a year?
       
    16. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I agree with @Orions Pain.

      I had an MRI back in November, because I had unilateral tinnitus, which by the way went into remission by the time my appointment was up, and bilateral tinnitus as well. Because of the unilateral tinnitus, I was advised to undergo the testing. I thought a lot about it, I was really afraid that it would make my bilateral tinnitus worse. And it did. Temporarily luckily.

      I don't exactly know the type of the machine, I'm just assuming that it was GE and it was horribly loud. I spent roughly 25 minutes in it, and for quite some time I thought okay, no big deal, not that bad, but then some sequences of the procedure were so loud that it was almost unbearable. I only had a 3M foam earplug in, because they put a cage like thing over my face, so there was not enough room for an earmuff.
      And it did spike me horribly for a couple of days. Actually, I don't exactly know whether the spike was due to the volume or my anxiety, but I'm leaning to loudness, because my tinnitus is very reactive to sounds.

      Although, in my local tinnitus group, lots of people have MRI, and very few claim that they got worse after that despite that ear protection in that group is not really big, so quite a few people have an MRI without earplugs...
       
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    17. Jrblovsky

      Jrblovsky Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Christmas 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      NOISE/Menieres Who knows
      I tried to have an MRI done last Tuesday to help diagnose the shooting facial pain. I made the tech stop the scan because it was so loud. I had one a year ago on a Siemens machine and was able to wear double protection and had no issues but this time it was a GE machine. I was in there for maybe 5 or 10 minutes and I had enough. It spiked my roaring and ringing. Hopefully it settles down.
       
    18. Markyboy

      Markyboy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello.

      I started hearing a constant tone (like a hearing test tone) in my left ear around a year ago. So I went to audiology to get it checked out. After giving me a hearing test, the woman said she thought it was probably tinnitus and would refer me to ENT. A few months later I received a phone call from the hospital requesting that I go and have an MRI scan done on my ear. Well I have just received my letter for that MRI scan and it is due to take place next week!

      Not going to lie, I am worried about it. One of my biggest worries is that it says in the info leaflet that sometimes it is necessary to inject a patient with contrast before doing an MRI scan. I am terrified of needles!! And when I say I don't like injections, I don't mean that I don't like injections like most people don't like injections. I mean I am terrified of them! Injections usually involve panic attacks and fainting for me. It is that bad.

      So the thought of having to be injected with contrast is really heightening my worry level about going for this MRI.

      Can anyone tell me how likely it is that I will need to have contrast injected? Is it likely that I will be able to have the MRI without having to go through that? Maybe some of you have been for an ear MRI before and can tell me whether you had to take contrast or not?

      Thank you in advance for any replies.
       
    19. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Before the MRI, try to speak with the MRI technician/doctor about your concerns, or the ENT who has referred you to get the scan.

      Here you can read about in what cases contrast is recommended:

      https://www.gehealthcare.com/feature-article/overview-of-mri-contrast

      When you go to the MRI, bring adequate hearing protection (good quality foam plugs), and learn to use them, the machine is loud. If possible, ask for earmuffs as well.
       
    20. Orions Pain
      Sad

      Orions Pain Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      You don’t have to do the contrast if you don’t want to. It depends on what you’re getting scanned and why. I’ve been told contrast typically is only used when they’re doing a scan to check if a tumor or a lesion has grown since the last scan. It’s also banned in several European countries because it’s still relatively controversial in regards to safety.

      If you’re getting a standard auditory canal scan with the only reason for the scan being tinnitus, you probably don’t need the contrast... or the MRI. This isn’t medical advice, but the majority of the time MRI’s for just tinnitus tend to come up normal.
       
    21. Markyboy

      Markyboy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I am getting an MRI IAM because I have tinnitus in my left ear. Although I am now noticing it in my right ear too from time to time.

      If I don't have to have the contrast done, that would be a relief. Although I believe contrast gives more accurate results? Which is ultimately what you want I guess. It doesn't mention contrast on my letter from radiotherapy. Not sure if that means anything.
       
    22. Syb
      Pensive

      Syb Member

      Location:
      Montreal
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss & possibly a neck / C spine issue?
      Hi!

      I'll try to keep this short (I failed). I'll make a tl;dr at the bottom.

      Quick background if it's relevant : I'm 30, had mild hearing loss tinnitus in both ears for most of my life (cause unknown — it's one of the reasons the ENT wants to investigate more since I haven't suffered any accidents or acoustic trauma). This tinnitus hasn't really ever bothered me, however, as it's not intrusive at all and it's all I've ever known as silence.

      I also developed a different type of tinnitus (also in both ears, louder in my left) a little over two months ago. Seems to be at least partly somatic, according to the audiologist, since I can modulate it. It's usually quieter in the morning, louder at night. Depending on which side I sleep on, sometimes it gets quieter. Anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxants, even Benadryl makes it more quiet. It gets louder with pain and/or inflammation in the head, jaw, neck & shoulders area. I had a fever with bad body aches two weeks ago — it got so unbearably loud! It also seems to increase with higher blood pressure.

      When my pain / migraines are really bad, I also get pulsatile tinnitus in my left ear, but this has been the case ever since I developed occipital neuralgia on this side, and it rarely ever happens so it doesn't bother me too much.

      We ruled out hyperacusis, although I do have some mild recruitment according to the tests the audiologist ran. On my good days, I pretty much only hear a cicada-like sound, sometimes with some chirping in my left ear. However on my bad days, the sound turns into a high pitched, loud sound and my left ear is somewhat reactive to certain sounds (my computer fan exacerbates it, yet the sound of the shower and my electric razor suppress it... go figure).

      The ENT wants to investigate my hearing loss and do a CT scan & MRI to rule out fistulas or determine whether it's a birth defect. It might also tell us, hopefully, what exactly caused this somatic tinnitus before I do more physiotherapy.

      My concern is that my ears are reactive to loud sounds sometimes and it's very unpredictable, nor do I seem to have any control over it except, well, avoid noises that bother me until the 'reactivity' goes away. Obviously MRIs are pretty damn loud.

      I've had two MRIs in the past, for lower back issues. At the time I was only dealing with my old, mild tinnitus, and since I can't remember it spiking from the MRI, I'm guessing everything went well.

      I'm just... terrified of developing hyperacusis, if I'm honest. I might just be paranoid, too — I've had a lot of anxiety related to this new tinnitus.

      I was told to bring my own ear plugs for the appointment... however the person I spoke to had no idea whether earmuffs or over ear headphones would be provided. I could order MRI safe earmuffs, but somehow I have a feeling they won't let me bring them. (Public hospital in Canada, the staff isn't always the most knowledgeable or helpful, unfortunately.)

      The appointment is in two weeks. I'm not sure what to do. I want to investigate further, of course, but most and foremost, I want to be sure the whole process is safe. I mentioned my apprehension to the ENT regarding the MRI but obviously she shrugged it off and said it would be fine. It might be. I don't know.

      Thoughts? Should I go?

      Is there ear protection out there that can protect my ears properly? I'm not really that familiar with ear plugs — I only have those silicone ones with a little filter in them that I use at night (to block out most of my partner's snoring, lol). They don't block out all noise so I'd have to get better ones.

      tl;dr: ENT wants to do an MRI. I don't have hyperacusis, only mild recruitment. However my tinnitus can be reactive to sound on my bad days. For this reason, and for fear of developing hyperacusis, I'm scared to go. Not sure what to do.

      Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
       
    23. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      From reading these forums, it seems most people deal ok with MRIs. In your case I would do it since you don't have pre-existing hyperacusis.
       
    24. CAgirl

      CAgirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      3 M80 Firecrackers
      Hi-

      I haven’t been here in a few months. I had an acoustic trauma last summer but over 3-4 months the tinnitus lowered in volume. I’ve been very careful with my hearing since then.

      I have been putting off a brain MRI for months due to noise concerns. My doctor actually ordered, brain, cervical spine and thoracic. Two days ago, I finally decided to go and do just the brain MRI. It was a Siemens T3 machine which I’m now learning can go up to 130 dB! The 1.5 machines only go up to about 105. It was LOUD! I should’ve have left mid-scan but I just wanted to get it over with.

      I wore the provided ear plugs the first half, but then switched to the ones I brought halfway through. I’m not sure which were better. I also wore the headphones. At one point, I told her it was too loud so she put some foam over the ear plugs with the headphones over the foam. It was still very loud, but for some reason I thought it would be ok.

      The actual noises were broken up into 30 second to 3 minute series. I was probably exposed to 10-12 minutes of high decibel noise total, but with breaks in between. I never had any actual ear pain during the test.

      Of course, despite all the precautions I took, the hissing and ringing has spiked a lot and once again I can’t sleep due to the noise. I can hear it over all ambient sounds again. This had improved months ago so am so upset that it has worsened and feel back at square 1. I’m also going through other medical problems which does not help the situation.

      Has anyone had a spike from an MRI? Did it eventually abate? Please no scary stories. I’m just looking for support and hope. :(

      I’m definitely not going back to get the other two scans done anytime soon!
       
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    25. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Yes, MRI spiked me for about a week. It was horrible, I thought I had made the biggest mistake going through with it. Tinnitus eventually went back to baseline, but if not in a life threatening situation, I won't be having an MRI in the future.

      I hope yours will go back again to baseline. Maybe you should try some medication to help you with sleeping in order to avoid the vicious anxiety circle. :huganimation:
       
    26. jpr992

      jpr992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Dear members,

      I have bad hyperacusis and mild tinnitus from an acoustic trauma and I need to have an MRI scan on my knee.

      I would like to know your opinion about the quietness of low-field strength dedicated MRI scanners (also known as extremity MRI scanners), which use reduced magnetic field, usually around 0.3T instead of the traditional scanners with 1.5T or 3T. So far, I found only one scanner of this type - Esaote O-Scan, which operates at 0.31T and, apparently, can be installed directly on the office and doesn’t require a separate shielding cage.

      According with the attached graphic below, reduced low-field strength MRI scanners generate lower acoustic noise levels, which can be advantageous for people like us.

      Alternatively, there is a traditional MRI scanner with a specific technology called “Pianissimo” that reduces the generated acoustic noise - Canon Vantage ELan 1.5T (former Toshiba) - but I have been told by a radiologist technician that the low-field extremity MRI scanners may be quieter.

      mfig001.jpg
       
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    27. Psych
      Wishful

      Psych Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Many moons...
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I think I heard one of those about a month ago, mistakenly thinking I was visiting one of the open MRIs that make a loud noise. The one I heard you could hear a little FM radio over - it was very quiet. I was disappointed to find out THIS was NOT the type of MRI MY doctor wanted me to get! o_O
       
    28. jpr992

      jpr992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Why didn't he want it?

      Anyway please note that these machines may produce little noise by just being turned on. Was the machine actually performing a scanning procedure when you heard it?
       
    29. Psych
      Wishful

      Psych Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Many moons...
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      He just said that a more powerful machine was needed. And it was not scanning an actual person when it was on, but I'm not sure if the tech had it doing anything like a scan at the time.
       
    30. jpr992

      jpr992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I've seen some people arguing that, but also the opposite, stating that the images obtained by these low field MRI scanners for extremities are not worse than those obtained by the traditional ones with higher magnetic field:
      "If comparing the O-Scan to a 1.5 tesla unit, we find images are very good." From Royal Preston Hospital invests in Esaote’s O-Scan MRI unit.
       
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