To MRI or Not to MRI

Discussion in 'Support' started by maestromusica, Apr 14, 2017.

    1. maestromusica
      Batty

      maestromusica Member

      Location:
      Edinburgh
      Tinnitus Since:
      22/10/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Club
      Hi guys,

      Just wanted to know your opinion on the issue. I've seen (a completely incompetent when it comes to tinnitus) neurologist and he suggested I should get MRI.

      My tinnitus is noise-induced and I have no doubts about it.

      I know MRI is damn loud... Should I do it anyway?


      P.S. Dude was really surprised when I told him I don't have to be in a quiet environment to hear it and that it is intrusive. I mentioned tinnitus-caused-anxiety and he was very surprised that you can be so distressed "by some noise".

      Best bit: I also mentioned that a therapist suggested anti-anxiety meds that I decided not to take. He just went: "why? antidepressants are awesome". I decided to just laugh along.

      Great professional, 11/10 would recommend.
       
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    2. Rubenslash

      Rubenslash Member

      Location:
      Brussels
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several
      You can wear muffs + plugs.

      It never hurts to check for brain tumors, even unrelated to tinnitus.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    3. Foncky
      Tired

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music. Balloon. Genes.
      Actually it does hurt, an MRI can be as loud as 130-140dB (peaks).

      An MRI is useless for a noise induced tinnitus 99,99% of the time, especially if both ears are ringing.

      So we're pretty sure it won't help you. We're pretty sure it's going to be bad for your ears though.

      Your neurologist has no clue about tinnitus. Like all doctors who have no clue, he will ask an MRI because he doesn't know what else to say.

      Do an MRI if you HAVE to do it. And even then, do your homework: some last generation MRI are less noisy.
       
      • Agree Agree x 5
    4. Jomo

      Jomo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      9/4/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      going for a rim shot on the snare drum.
      I didn't go... waste of my time and money... I know what caused mine and it definitely isn't a tumor. I am in a much better place now as well and I don't need anything screwing me up.
       
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    5. vermillion
      No Mood

      vermillion Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neurological damage
      @maestromusica I totally agree with @Foncky. Why bother to MRI when you already know that your tinnitus is noise-induced. I don't believe it will give you any useful data. Too much noise for nothing. I 've undergone two MRIs to no avail...

      My neurologist was laughing when I mentioned about my concerns on tinnitus and how it can affect an individual's quality of life. He even didn't believe me when I told him about tinnitus sufferers that ended their own lives.

      The same neurologist advised me that SSRIs would be a good idea and assured me that they are side-effect free and that I can stop them whenever I want. WTF?

      You tell me! I'm done with docs and MRIs:rockingbanana:
       
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    6. coldroses
      Sleepy

      coldroses Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neck injury from pedestrian accident with car
      As many will tell you - an MRI is not the be all and end all. They're not ineffective, but they're not foolproof either - like anything I guess.

      Presimably you've had a hearing test from an audiologist?
       
    7. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      I did an MRI as my tinnitus is just in my right ear. It was loud but I had ear plugs in so no problem.
       
    8. coldroses
      Sleepy

      coldroses Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neck injury from pedestrian accident with car
      When tinnitus is unilateral it could be indicative of a more serious condition so the MRI has to be done to rule out underlying causes like acoustic neuroma. It's the first thing an ENT will do if you present with unilateral tinnitus - @maestromusica might have bilateral tinnitus though, in which case an MRI won't be considered necessary in the absence of some other kind of pathophysiology that might be related e.g head or neck injury.
       
    9. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      Yeah but what I am saying is the noise from the MRI wasn't an issue for me. With ear plugs in it wasn't uncomfortably loud.
       
    10. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      You can ask to have the MRI set at the paediatric setting children use as it's less noisy.

      Love glynis
       
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    11. Tamalak
      Volatile

      Tamalak Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/2011
      I got it and regretted it. Brain looked impeccable. Noise wasn't too bad (earplugs!) but MRIs do cause radiation which increase the odds of future brain troubles.
       
    12. JurgenG
      Approved

      JurgenG Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise exposure / headphone accident maybe?
      140 dB.

      Are you sure about those numbers?
      I am not sure you can actually wear muffs though, since there is metal in it?
       
    13. Foncky
      Tired

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music. Balloon. Genes.
      Yes, that's what I read on a spec sheet once, can't remember which unit it was.

      Not all earmuffs have metal. 3M X5A doesn't I believe, but it might be too large for the MRI.

      Interesting read:
      https://www.med.nagoya-u.ac.jp/medlib/nagoya_j_med_sci/6912/p023-028.pdf

      Peaks measured at 130.7dB (sound pressure level, I'm no expert but it sounds bad enough) for 3-Tesla units.
       
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    14. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      God, I hope you didn't pay the fool.
       
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    15. racerfish
      No Mood

      racerfish Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / T worsened with antiobiotics
      I agree with other that an MRI will not find much of anything. One of the ENT's said that was an option but he said the odds of finding something for noise-induced tinnitus are next to zero and said only to do it if I wanted to turn over every little last pebble.

      That said, my neighbor used to have tinnitus which she said came out of nowhere. She did get an MRI and they found a small neuroma in her ear. It was removed and the tinnitus went away.
       
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    16. Foncky
      Tired

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music. Balloon. Genes.
      In a case like this and with no hyperacusis, yes, MRI is great.

      But I don't get the doctors who still say "MRI !!!!" when you tell them: "I was doing great, then I had an acoustic trauma, then tinnitus started".

      Some ENTs still DON'T believe noise can cause an actual trauma and a never ending tinnitus or hyperacusis. One of them told me: "No one has tinnitus for life after a noise trauma, it just doesn't exist". And those people have a medical agree, in 2017.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    17. racerfish
      No Mood

      racerfish Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / T worsened with antiobiotics
      That's pathetic and sad.
       
    18. Rubenslash

      Rubenslash Member

      Location:
      Brussels
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several
      Lol no, CT scan gives radiation but MRI is harmless.
       
    19. Tweaker
      Transparent

      Tweaker Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Make sure you wear earplugs. My hyperacusis started the day after my MRI. They gave me fake earplugs that did nothing. It is nice to know there is no tumour. Not sure i would go through another MRI though. With proper earplugs i may consider it. Advice is to wear decent plugs. It only took about 10 to 15 minutes.
       
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    20. Rubenslash

      Rubenslash Member

      Location:
      Brussels
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several
      I had an MRI yesterday, it's not too loud with double ear protection.

      The MRI peak volume was 105 dB which I reduced to 85 dB. I wouldn't be scared of stories that MRI reaches 130-140 dB, maybe some old models in certain settings, but usually it doesn't and you can always call upfront.

      Also the loud sounds are intermittent and MRI only lasts 15-20 mins.
       
    21. Connie3140

      Connie3140 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      San Diego, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Mild hearing loss
      Hello, I'm new to this forum. My tinnitus started about a month ago. I went to an audiologist who did a hearing test that showed sensorineural to some degree in both ears. I then saw the ENT doc and there wasn't any obvious causes for the tinnitus -- no ear wax or bony growths. As far as I can tell, tinnitus is in both ears. I asked the doctor if I should have any imaging tests, like an MRI. I told him I had had radiation to my left eye as at teenager, about fifty years ago. He said I didn't need an MRI, that the risk of me having an acoustic neuroma was "microscopic," but he said he'd order one if I wanted. I said I would like to have one, then I changed my mind, partly after reading what others have said here, and also my neighbor, who was a professor of physics at a medical school and has administered a lot of MRIs, said the that not all of the contrast medium leaves your body.

      After reading posts in this forum, my main concern was that an MRI might make my tinnitus worse. On the other hand, if I can have an MRI, it would be nice to know that I don't have anything going on in the brain, even if it's not tinnitus related. I'm on Medicare and have a good supplemental policy, so I think it would be covered. I'd be interested to hear anyone's experience with an MRI -- did it make the tinnitus worse?

      Thanks,
      Connie
       
    22. light rain

      light rain Member

      Location:
      Eastern TN
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      You can have the MRI done without contrast understanding that it might miss a very small neuroma. I am opting for this myself since I have CFS and the latest info about contrast is troubling. On newer machine es with the latest technology even my ENT is OK with this.

      But understand the use of contrast is the gold standard however repeat MRIs could be done to monitor if nothing shows.
      This is not medical advice just telling you some rrs allow for options.

      Lynn
       
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    23. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      This MRI is fine with plugs - had it done a few months ago on this 3T machine. Would not consider any other MRI unit, which are much louder.

      RSNA 2016: Dr. Meng Law Reveals Toshiba...
       
    24. Lilah

      Lilah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, Lupus
      I did not know the cause of my tinnitus so I did the MRI. I also have lupus which affects the brain sometimes so I did it for that reason also. If you do not know the cause, I would do it to have a little piece of mind. My tinnitus did increase a lot by the end of the MRI and for a couple of days after, but it went down after that. I wore ear plugs and listened to classical music.
       
    25. AmericanJosh

      AmericanJosh Member

      Location:
      Wisconsin, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise exposure while doing work on home
      You are incorrect. There is absolutely no radiation whatsoever with an MRI. They use magnets, not radiation, and it is harmless (except for the noise).
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    26. AmericanJosh

      AmericanJosh Member

      Location:
      Wisconsin, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise exposure while doing work on home
      Is there a possible risk of worsening tinnitus from the contrast drug?
       
    27. ABakos
      Wishful

      ABakos Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ? neck injury/unknown
      I am curious, was her tinnitus unilateral or bilateral?
       
    28. Sameer

      Sameer Member

      Location:
      Sydney, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Possibly Prolonged Plane Travelling?
      Hi, all. I'm debating whether or not I should get an MRI. I've read online and heard (from mum) that they can be really, really loud. Considering I've only just started to feel like I might be building a sound tolerance again and tinnitus is (still pretty bad, but) at a lower level... My ENT doesn't think anything will come up (he seemed almost 100% sure about it after I spoke with him), but he said I could go for it just to rule it out. I don't know if I should risk even the slightest chance of recovery for some results that will most likely come back fine.

      Also, I do have ear spasms multiple times throughout the day. Nothing too crazy, really, but it does feel kinda alarming. Is this a cause for concern or does it come with the conditions? If it's something worth getting an MRI for, then I might consider it.

      The thing is, I saw my GP after ENT to catch her up on everything and ask how I could prevent impacted earwax from happening again (to which she basically replied, "You can't"), she was really urging and insisting on me getting the MRI once I brought up "ear spasms", so I'm just unsure about whether it's worth it or not. My mum also keeps saying I should get it done, so I don't know.

      Any advice? Thanks.



      Here's my story, if it helps:

      I'm a 19 year old male, living in Australia. I received hyperacusis as a result of an ear syringing, as I had impacted earwax. I feel like the GP syringed too hard (because I felt pain whenever she did it) and the sound of the water hitting the inside of my ear at that amount of pressure was so loud. My tinnitus, which was hardly obtrusive, never fluctuating and only mildly audible when trying to sleep, also increased to at least 2-3 times volume and now fluctuates literally 24/7.

      This all happened at the end of April/start of March this year (2019).

      As for my hyperacusis - everyday sounds, such as; running water, taking a shower, flushing the toilet, cutlery clanging together, flicking on the light switch, car keys clanging together, oil sizzling in a pan - these all give my ears the sensation of listening to someone's fingernails being dragged across a chalkboard. I don't experience any pain in my ears (although, I did experience minor, intermittent ear pain in the first couple of weeks), it's just a scary and debilitating experience. I feel like every single step outside the house (and sometimes inside) is the biggest risk for my ears. Haven't stepped foot into a mall since it happened. I've stopped work, as I'm nowhere near even considering being able to handle the sound of a shopping mall and am basically screwed as a musician.

      I've purchased earplugs and have gone out a couple of times with friends to get something to eat while wearing them, even though I was on edge the entire time, so I guess that's a start. I've read about the risks of overprotecting, so I only ever wear the earplugs when absolutely necessary. I'm super anxious whenever I take a shower, since the sound of the water hitting the ground is hell, but I tolerate it every time and I haven't experienced any further symptoms, so yeah. Same thing goes for the sound of flushing the toilet, but I'm trying to cover my ears less and less in hopes that I'll maybe re-develop a tolerance and in these last couple weeks, I feel like I've been making a small amount of progress, since I'm now able to stand running tap water better.
       
    29. Mathieulh
      Busy

      Mathieulh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Paris, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/24/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Chronic headphones use and acute noise induced trauma.
      They do it to rule out any underlying condition, you would be quite glad if your MRI ends up uncovering an acoustic neuroma. In the end this is done to ascertain a proper diagnosis, something that's to the potential benefit of the patient. You can always do MRIs with earmuffs, I had mine done that way, most don't contain metallic parts, in fact the pair of earmuffs I was wearing was provided by the clinic.
       
    30. Mathieulh
      Busy

      Mathieulh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Paris, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/24/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Chronic headphones use and acute noise induced trauma.
      Except that bilateral neuroma is a thing, in fact it's actually a common occurrence to people diagnosed with any form of acoustic neuroma, totaling well over 50% of acoustic neuroma diagnosis.

      Yes MRIs are noisy, that doesn't mean you can't get one done without wearing suitable ear protections.
       

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