Open MRI scanning doesn’t impact hearing like standard, closed MRIs

A new study conducted using traditional MRI scanners has shown that patients can suffer temporary yet troublesome changes to their hearing after having a scan.

Closed MRI scanners produce loud noises – up to 110dB, according to GE. That’s about the same level as a rock concert. Health experts recommend that earplugs are worn when experiencing noise levels over 85dB, as noise at this level could result in hearing damage.


In the study, patients displayed changes in hearing even after they wore hearing protection in a typical 3-T MRI scanner. The changes were only temporary, but the authors of the study still recommended the use of more stringent ear protection for patients undergoing closed MRIs.

Patients visiting Newcastle Clinic do not need to be concerned about the noise level of our scanner. That’s because open MRI scanners are much quieter than traditional scanners.

Open MRIs produce less noise, and since they don’t have an enclosed tunnel or walls, the acoustics are not as intense while having a scan.

open mri scan

The open scanner is not only quiet, it also provides a much more comfortable experience for all patients. It’s non-claustrophobic, allows for extra space for people of larger build, and we offer the option for a friend or family member to hold your hand throughout the scan.

We’ll play music of your choice during appointments, which can help to pass the time and keep your mind at ease while having the open MRI scan. If a patient is having a knee MRI scan, leg scan or MRI of the hip, we’ll do our best to position you with your head outside of the scanning area, which makes the experience even more relaxing.

review open mri scan

Contact us to enquire about an NHS referral or private appointment at our clinic in Jesmond.