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Choosing Open MRI for Claustrophobia: What You Need to Know

May 13, 2024

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People with claustrophobia can dread the idea of having to do a traditional MRI because the confined space of the machine can cause feelings of anxiety and unease. Fortunately, there is a solution – open MRI

Nowadays, open MRI is a viable option for individuals dealing with claustrophobia. Expert MRI is California’s leading diagnostic center and offers open MRI services for patients who suffer from claustrophobia.

Understanding Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia is the fear of enclosed spaces and it affects millions of people worldwide. According to Every Day Health, claustrophobia affects roughly 12% of Americans. When faced with tight enclosed spaces like traditional MRI machines, people suffering from claustrophobia may experience heightened stress levels, panic attacks, and unease in general. To ensure a smooth medical imaging experience, recognition and addressing this fear is necessary.

In addition to overwhelming feelings of anxiety, claustrophobia can also cause physical symptoms, such as:

  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Hot flushes or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Ringing in the ears

Claustrophobia is often caused by a traumatic event in the person’s childhood, or unpleasant experiences or situations.

The Open MRI Advantage

The advantage of open MRIs offer an alternative patient-friendly to closed MRIs. It’s worth noting that unlike traditional closed MRIs which have less space available within, open MRIs have been designed to give patients a sense of openness rather than confinement. Consequently, there is increased possibility for those undergoing imaging procedures thus making open MRI popular among individuals diagnosed with or have a history of claustrophobia. 

We also have options for patients receiving a front-open MRI to watch TV during the scan, creating a more relaxed experience.

If you would like to schedule an open MRI test or have any questions, please call us at (877) 674-8888.