How to deal with claustrophobic patients while having an MRI?

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How to deal with claustrophobic patients while having an MRI?

7 Hacks on How to deal with claustrophobic patients while having an MRI?

  1.  Are you the staff in some radiology centers who have to face many claustrophobic patients these days coming for an MRI?

2. Are you someone whose friend, family, or a close one wants you to go to a radiology center for accompanying during the MRI, and you know she is a claustrophobic patient? Are you worried about how to deal with her during her scan as a support system?

3. Are you a claustrophobic patient yourself, trying to find ways to deal with your claustrophobic tendencies while having your MRI tomorrow?

Whatsoever it be, you can certainly gather some effective ideas from here on how to deal with claustrophobia while having an MRI!

Keeping eyes closed when inside the MRI tube

The first effective hack to deal with claustrophobic patients while having an MRI is to ask them to close their eyes and relax when going inside the MRI machine. By keeping your eyes closed, you can avoid anxiety from setting in.

It is the very same out-of-sight-out-of-mind you apply to help curb a health condition. When you are inside the machine, even though the space is too enclosed & suffocating, you will not feel it because you don’t see it.


That is how you have to tame your mind during an MRI,  says human psychology!

Taking deep & controlled breaths

The second hack is to take deep & controlled breaths when inside the MRI scanner and the scanning is on! This shall calm you down and release your nerve stimulators; your anxiety & anticipation is likely to go away!

When you take deep breaths, you trigger blood circulation & ensure your comfort! That’s how you can deal with claustrophobia & panic attacks inside the MRI tube.

This is more like meditation inside the donut-like semi-enclosed tube! You keep your eyes closed & breathe in and out deeply, and peace prevails! Remember, mediation practices for a week before the MRI test can act as a bonus in fighting suffocation & the fear of being trapped!

A Blanket would be amazing

The third & the coolest hack you are allowed to perform in an MRI scan to make it easier in case of claustrophobia is to get a blanket over you when you lay on the moveable table and go inside the MRI scanner.

A blanket over you just like you take when you are at home, in your bed, can give you a sensation of security. You can gain a positive vibe while you lay still & imagine some Las Vegas trip! Your mind would be diverted & you will not feel anxious or panicked!

Please do not, however, forget to ask the radiologist whether the specific MRI scan suits keeping a blanket over your body!

Music can always play the mind-diversion game

Be it your anxiety problem or discomfort in your ears emerging from the loud banging & clanking noise, music can be a favorable solution when you are inside the MRI scanner, lying on the moveable bed, holding on to a certain posture!

It can obsolete your nervous breakdown during the MRI and make you feel energetic through the tunes & melody. It can divert your mind from thinking about the semi-enclosed space & suffocation and wipe out stress from your mind.

In other words,

Satisfying the pleasure centers of your brain with music can serve in dealing with claustrophobic situations while having an MRI!

Using Earmuffs or Earplugs to embrace Silence & Peace

Are you someone who cannot listen to music for a long and stay awake while keeping your eyes closed?

Are you someone who cannot minimize stress via music and instead need silence to gather mental strength & courage?

This hack would be much more efficient to deal with claustrophobia. Carry quality earmuffs with you to the radiology center and if you do not have such a thing, carry your ordinary earplugs. Perhaps, that shall suffice! The earmuffs or earplugs shall not only help eliminate the rough noise emerging from the MRI machine, but they shall also help keep you calm & composite, devoid of all discomfort!

Go for the option of Sedatives

If you see nothing works to deal with claustrophobia while having an MRI scan, medicine can be a solution. There lay various sedatives in use that your doctors & radiologists offer when performing a diagnosis or treatment. You can avail of it in prior consultation!

Sometimes, the sedatives may be given as an oral pill or liquid to intake, and sometimes, they may be injected into your body. These sedatives leave room for side effects like dizziness, headache, nausea, fatigue, allergies, and other health symptoms that tend to disappear on their own. Such conditions may be tolerable to you but not anxiety & claustrophobia!

Opt for a Wide-bore MRI instead of a traditional one

Last but not least, you can skip availing of a traditional MRI and ask your doctor to look for a center that offers a wide-bore MRI scan. That is another way of dealing with claustrophobia. A wide-bore MRI machine is shorter in length & takes less time to curate the imaging. It is suitable for patients having claustrophobia.

Although it is a bit expensive when compared to traditional MRI because of its advancement & availability, you can give it a call when all other natural hacks seem inconvincible in dealing with claustrophobia while having an MRI!


Whether you are the healthcare provider, the patient, or someone from the patient’s side, reading this blog, by now, you must have filled up your knowledge gap in dealing with claustrophobia during an MRI scan. Comment & let us know which of the hacks worked the best when it was your turn for an MRI!

For more information, feel free to visit!

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Hi, I am Alka Tiwari, Founder & Patient Care Executive at Helping you get the diagnostics scans services like MRI, CT Scan, UltraSound & PET Scan, etc at the best price. At MRIChandigarh's blog, I will be writing to create awareness and to educate you about how and where to get diagnostic scans done in Chandigarh at the best price with best-in-class services.
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