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Home > UVA Imaging > Exams & Procedures > Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) > Anxiety & Claustrophobia

Anxiety & Claustrophobia

Let us know if you have claustrophobia or if you are anxious.

UVA Imaging’s MRI technologists have extensive experience with claustrophobic patients and will provide support to ensure a successful exam.

Ways we strive to make you comfortable:

  • Large Bore MRI
  • Prism Glasses
  • Scenic skylights
  • Sound canceling headphones with your choice of music
  • Pillows & warm blankets
  • Shorter scan times

Large Bore MRI

Our large-bore MRI machines have a larger opening and a shorter length than a traditional MRI. 

Depending on the body part being scanned, your head may be outside of the machine or you may go in feet first.  

If the body part is inside the machine during the exam you will have approximately 12” of clearance above your head.



Prism Glasses

Prism glasses feel similar to wearing a conventional pair of glasses and can be used regardless of being head-first or feet first.Prism glasses allow you to see outside of the MRI while lying inside of the machine to reduce claustrophobia during the scan.


Communicate with your technologist

Our staff is concerned about your comfort. Tell your technologist if you are anxious before you begin your exam. 

Our staff have many ways to make you feel more comfortable and will work with you to find the right ones for you.

Your technologist can see you and communicate with you at all times during your MRI.

Additionally, for safety and comfort, you will be provided a call button and offered warm blankets, as well as sound canceling headphones with your choice of music. 


Please let your health care provider know that you are anxious.  He or she may prescribe medications to help ease the symptoms of claustrophobia. 

Do not take your prescription medication for claustrophobia before you arrive for your MRI.  

Bring the medication with you to your appointment and our nursing staff will instruct you when to take it for maximum effectiveness.  Make sure that you have someone to drive you home.