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Thread: BAD experience with MRI scan

  1. #1

    Default BAD experience with MRI scan

    I had an MRI head scan on December 16th; was in the scanner 22 mins in total. Straight after I came out I felt so dizzy I could hardly walk and had to sit down in the waiting room for 10 minutes before I could even get to the car (I wasn't driving!) Got home and felt so ill all I could do for the rest of the evening was lie down. It took me a couple of days to stop feeling sick and dizzy. I also started to get almost daily headaches and burning earaches that I did NOT have before the scan, and it's only in the last week that I can say that these are 95% gone.

    Is this normal?? Has anyone experienced such a thing? I don't think it was psychological, as I felt mentally comfortable in the scanner and not claustrophobic.
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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Mickleditch View Post
    I had an MRI head scan on December 16th; was in the scanner 22 mins in total. Straight after I came out I felt so dizzy I could hardly walk and had to sit down in the waiting room for 10 minutes before I could even get to the car (I wasn't driving!) Got home and felt so ill all I could do for the rest of the evening was lie down. It took me a couple of days to stop feeling sick and dizzy. I also started to get almost daily headaches and burning earaches that I did NOT have before the scan, and it's only in the last week that I can say that these are 95% gone.

    Is this normal?? Has anyone experienced such a thing? I don't think it was psychological, as I felt mentally comfortable in the scanner and not claustrophobic.

    I've had several + MRIs and have never experienced anything such as that. I've never felt claustrophobic until the last one I had, & think it was because I had a scan for both my neck & one for my head. Just in there too long, I guess.

    Your scan wasn't done with contrast was it?
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    What body part was scanned? I have never felt like that either in the two scans I have had -- although it is rare, some people can feel physical pain during a scan if there is a lot of fluid build up.
    Last edited by Tron28; 01-31-2017 at 02:33 AM.

  5. #4
    @Danie No, no contrast was used, but the whole experience was horrendous.

    - - - Updated - - -
    @Tron28 It was a head scan only. I didn't get pain at the time, just sickness and dizziness. A few days later the headaches and earaches started.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickleditch View Post
    @Danie No, no contrast was used, but the whole experience was horrendous.

    - - - Updated - - -
    @Tron28 It was a head scan only. I didn't get pain at the time, just sickness and dizziness. A few days later the headaches and earaches started.
    Magnetic resonance imaging is, simply put, a magnetic field with radio waves applied to create images.
    Sometimes, those radio waves or the magnetic field itself can fiddle with your equilibrium and cause the symptoms you describe. I dont know if you still have the problem but you may want to mention it to your physician. I dont know that anything can be done about it but it cant hurt to mention it to him and see if he thinks its normal to still have the symptoms a month later, if thats in fact the case.
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    @Mickleditch , are you feeling better? I'm late to this thread, but I wanted to add my $0.02. I've had two brain MRIs for a suspected pituitary adenoma; the second MRI was more thorough and included contrast. Neither MRI caused me any of the symptoms that you described, but the MRI technician did say that it could cause dizzyness for a short time afterwards.
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  8. #7
    @Mickleditch . I've had two MRIs, on my brain, but I didn't experience, anything that you're referring to. I hope you're feeling better. Check in with us, when you can.

    @Danie , and @wintermute . I was unaware, that they use contrast with MRIs. I wonder why they didn't with me.

    I have had contrast with a CAT scan, and a couple of brain spect scans, but not the MRI. I think they were just ruling things out, so maybe that's why.

    Peace
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  9. #8
    @VEDA @wintermute Symptoms are improving these days - nearly 2 months later - but not completely gone. Before the scan, I had tinnitus, mild discomfort, and very mild hyperacusis (where ordinary noises sound too loud) in one ear. Scan didn't make the tinnitus any worse, but it did give me outright pain in both ears and made the hyperacusis five times as bad.
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  10. #9
    @Mickleditch . I've been living with tinnitus for years. I can literally, feel the vibration sometimes. Sensory overload, can make me a mad woman. If I'm talking to someone, and there's music, or other people having loud conversations around me, I just have to bolt, which is one of the reasons, I'm virtually home bound. It's not worth it to me. I'm sorry you're experiencing pain, and worsened hyperacusis. I hope this isn't permanent, and I hope you receive some relief soon. You could just be really sensitive to the magnetic field with radio waves, like @Mira mentioned.

    Did your doctor, have anything to say about this? I wish you the best.

    Peace
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    My father had several MRIs for the head area and he always said how unsteady and sick it made him feel. My only personal experience is having my knee scanned and it was the noise that was going on that I thought was making me feel weird. As @VEDA and @Mira say it could be down to the sensitivity to the magnetic field. I know I can sometime 'feel' electricity in my bones when I'm near certain bits of machinery. I can only imagine how unsettled you were.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VEDA View Post
    @Mickleditch . I've had two MRIs, on my brain, but I didn't experience, anything that you're referring to. I hope you're feeling better. Check in with us, when you can.

    @Danie , and @wintermute . I was unaware, that they use contrast with MRIs. I wonder why they didn't with me.

    I have had contrast with a CAT scan, and a couple of brain spect scans, but not the MRI. I think they were just ruling things out, so maybe that's why.

    Peace
    They use Gadolinium for contrast on MRI scans. It does basically the same thing as the iodine or barium contrast used for CT or xray, but its a completely different substance. Its used to highlight or make certain things like some structures, blood vessels or tumors more visible on the images. To use it or not to use it depends on what they're looking for and sometimes patients are brought back for a contrast study if something looks odd on the non contrast study.

    On a different note, I can relate about the tinnitis. I have it too and sometimes its really bad. None of the supposed "cures" work but I wish there was some way to get rid of it!
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  13. #12
    Bless you, @VEDA . I'm so sorry you and @Mira go through this. I've had the tinnitus for nearly 3 months now - reason unknown. I hadn't been subjected to any loud noises that could have caused trauma. The only factor seems to be a bad virus I caught at the start of December which took me nearly six weeks to get over. The tinnitus was the first 'symptom', appearing out of the blue one evening, then within 3-4 days I started to feel ill. (This was before the MRI).

    I did tell the doctor I felt extremely ill after the MRI and he didn't seem to think that was too unusual, but going to discuss the ongoing ear issues when I next see him.

    - - - Updated - - -
    @Frank Leigh If you read the official literature about MRI scans, it talks about how they have no side effects, but that quite obviously isn't true. I found one page online full of dozens of people describing the same sickness, dizziness, headaches, etc. Some said it lasted only a few hours; some were like me and had symptoms for longer. There are also reports now of MRI technicians who are around these machines regularly developing health issues. They are NOT as safe as is claimed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mira View Post
    Its used to highlight or make certain things like some structures like ghosts, blood vessels or tumors more visible on the images.


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    It's sounds like this scan exacerbated your current ear problems. You may look into additional ear protection for your next scan and possibly consider being pre-medicated with a benzidiapine. I don't think this sounds like a psychosomatic disorder manifesting symptoms. Keep getting better!!

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