Why do MRI machines make so much noise?  This is actually a very common question. Noises associated with MRI machines have been compared to jackhammers, clanking, banging, and industrial noises. You should be aware that these noises are normal and are not an indication that anything is wrong with the machine, but rather an indication that the machine is doing what it is supposed to.

To understand why MRI scans are loud, you need to have a basic understanding of how MRI works. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. In the simplest terms, MRI machines use extremely powerful magnets combined with electromagnetic fields, and coils which produce radio waves, to produce detailed images of organs and tissues in your body. MRI machines do not use radiation and are non-invasive. They are, however, noisy.

Noise is created when magnetic fields are cycled on and off, and when magnets exert an opposing force to each other. (There are several magnets in each MRI machine.) The noise is not harmful, but some people may find it alarming or annoying. At Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology, we have invested in special sound dampening walls in our MRI waiting rooms so that you do not hear sounds from other scans while you are waiting. While you are having the exam itself, we provide you with headphones to diminish the sound and increase your comfort.

For a more detailed explanation on how MRI machines work, visit How MRI Works.

Do you have any questions about MRI, CT, X-rayUltrasound or other scanning machines? Feel free to email us with your questions!