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Three Tips To Help Reduce Your Claustrophobia During An MRI Scan

There are a number of different types of medical diagnostics that you may need to undergo. In particular, an MRI can be an extremely useful diagnostic procedure, but there are many individuals that will experience a severe sense of claustrophobia as a result of being in an MRI machine. If this is a problem that you experience, you may want to consider using the following few tips to help you better control your sense of claustrophobia.

Opt For An Open MRI

There are many facilities that can offer both traditional MRIs and open ones. When you opt for an open MRI, you will not be placed in a confined tube. These devices do not have narrow walls, as the scanner will move along a track. This may greatly reduce your claustrophobia symptoms. Unfortunately, these scans can be slightly more expensive than traditional units, and your insurance may not cover this additional expense. Therefore, you may need to pay for this additional cost out of your own pocket.

Practice Entering And Exiting The MRI

Often, claustrophobia attacks can start due to a subconscious sense of being trapped in the narrow space. As a result, patients with mild claustrophobia may be able to mitigate these feelings by practicing entering and exiting the scanner. This may help to relieve subconscious fears of being trapped, which can help you to make it through this scan with as little stress as possible.

Speak With Your Doctor

For patients with intense claustrophobia, many of the more basic treatment options might not be effective. Fortunately, your primary care physician may be able to prescribe you a mild sedative to help keep your calm. However, this may not always be an option, as the sedatives may interfere with the results of the scan. As a result, you will need to discuss this with your doctor to make sure that this is an option.

When you are experiencing a chronic or serious medical problem, it may be necessary for you to undergo an MRI scan so that your doctor can better isolate the cause of the problem. For those that experience claustrophobia, these routine scans can be a very stressful experience. Fortunately, you may be able to help reduce the worst of your symptoms by making it a point to opt for an open MRI, practice entering and exiting the MRI, and speak with your doctor about taking a sedative will allow you to minimize the effects of your claustrophobia.