What Do Radiologists Say: Can you open your eyes during an MRI?
It is, of course, not necessary to keep your eyes open during an MRI. Usually, radiologists ask you to do the opposite, to keep your eyes closed when moved inside the donut-like semi-enclosed tube during an MRI test!
Perhaps, I, too, kept my eyes closed during my MRI! It was like my rationale convinced me to feel like I’m not inside any tube; you must have heard that idiom, out of sight, out of mind; it is all the same!
Mostly, radiologists give this advice to avoid claustrophobic situations while the MRI test is on. Yeah, keeping your eyes closed can reduce your anxiety & anticipation inside that noisy machine. However, this is also not mandatory. It depends on you; whether you want to keep your eyes open or closed!
The choice is yours!
But, you must be wondering – why do radiologists and medical experts suggest keeping your eyes closed instead of open?
Why do Radiologists Suggest closing the eyes during an MRI?
There are various reasons why your radiologist suggests closing your eyes during an MRI and not keeping them open. Here they go!
- There is a possibility that your eyes may be affected by the MRI scan. How? Even though not always, sometimes MRI can be contraindicated. That is only when it has an intraocular ferromagnetic foreign body. During this time, the foreign body can easily move in the strong magnetic field, leading to serious threats to your vision. That is why radiologists suggest keeping your eyes closed during an MRI scan & keeping them safe!
- You know if you are the one having vertigo! If so, let me tell you that you may have the same problem when you are inside the MRI machine, and the radiologist’s suggestion of closing your eyes during the MRI scan can help avoid such discomfort, and the test can take place smoothly!
- On the other note, there always lay a concern about image accuracy. You participate in an early diagnosis for early treatment. But, when the test results go wrong, the treatment is likely to delay, and your healthcare providers do not want so! They want precaution, and since open eyes can cause disturbance or movements within the scanning device, they suggest keeping the eyes closed!
- Sometimes, some liquid is introduced into your eyes to keep them calm & cool. At that time, you would certainly have to keep your eyes closed and maybe blindfolded if possible while pursuing the MRI scan. It is because such a condition can create turbulence in the magnetic field and cause optical nerve damage. No one wants that!
Are there any conditions for keeping your eyes closed during an MRI?
No doubt, there are certain conditions that you should not forget while keeping your eyes closed & thinking about being in some other place. They are as follows!
- You cannot fall asleep while you are pursuing your MRI scan; you must remember! It is because when you doze, you go to the state of the subconscious mind, and you may move or twist without acknowledging that you are supposed to stay flat & still. Thereafter, the test images go blurry. Do you want it? I suppose not!
- You need to be alert about any instructions given even when you close your eyes and imagine something beautiful or lively inside the MRI tube. You need to follow the breathing instructions, especially during the chest or stomach scan. Stay alert!
- It is beneficial to close your eyes during an MRI scan, but when such an action is accompanied by overthinking and fear, anxiety may set in. Hence, you have to remember that you do not think about the semi-enclosed space once you close your eyes and not even about anything scary or stressful! Think Positive, Think Larger than Life!
Can lenses or safety glasses work instead of keeping your eyes closed?
Most of you must be thinking if lenses or safety glasses can be a better option than keeping your eyes closed & yet staying awake for 90 minutes!
You are free to think that way!
Radiologists & Medical Experts recommend keeping your eyes closed or blindfolded with an eye mask, but not lenses or safety glasses!
It is because –
- Safety glasses or sunglasses can fly off your face and hit someone else or even cause an injury if not secured in place properly. Yes. The MRI machine is a powerful magnet that can cause objects to move all of a sudden;
- Lenses can interfere with the magnetic field & radio waves, causing inaccurate images and also further physical damage to you. However, some radiologists also say it blocks out bright light, giving a clearer image. The risk of physical damages is what makes the former suggestion a followed one!
You must always ask your doctor or inquire at the radiologist center you avail of; whether you can wear eye protection glasses or lenses during the MRI test.
Radiologists say eye masks are always better alternatives! Such a piece of advice also comes from various medical research inferences, where the percentage of people experiencing vision problems due to the presence of strong magnetic fields during an MRI is very small. If you feel any vision discomfort during the MRI scan, make sure; you inform the staff or radiologist inside the test lab. They will remove you from the machine & resume the scan after allocating proper eye protection!
So, the conclusion to your question would be you can keep your eyes open during an MRI, but it always is suggested the other way around. In case you want to keep your eyes open, you can discuss your plan of action with your doctor prior to your MRI test. Your doctor knows what stands as the best option for you!
Are you ready?
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