Becaue of lower back pain, I need an MRI. I've done maybe 3 or 4
hours total of metal grinding in the last 30 years, and worn safety
glasses during most of it. Also, because of the direction the grind
stone spns, metal round off and stone that comes off t he grindstone
heads down towards my feet, not up to my face. The housing around
both of my grinders keeps other metal and stone dust from heading up
or towards me.
There are two chains of imaging clinics here and when I told one that
I had spent about 3 hours of the last 30 years grinding, they said,
"Don't worry about it. The restrictions** are for people who do it for
work, day in and day out."
For unrelated reasons I had to call the second chain and the second
one said, "Any grinding presents a risk. You need to have an orbital
X-ray, to check for metal in your eyes, before we can do the MRI.
And you need a prescription from your doctor before we can give the
orbital xray. We won't do the MRI otherwise."
So now I'm trying to decide if there is any risk in my backbround. I
used goggles most of the time, but not every time I repaired a
screwdriver. Because a bench grinder blows the stone and metal
particles down. Below my hands. The housing keeps stuff from
blowing up at my eyes.
Still on ohter occasions I've gotten wood in my eyes so maybe I've
gotten metal too. I've sawed some metal with a band saw, but that
discharges down also. I've used a hack saw quite a few times, but
grvidty makes the metal fall down, unless I was under the saw. If so,
I'm almost certailn I wore goggles. or at least safety glasses. (the
prohibition includes metal working also.)
The office manager said that if I had metal in my eye, as soon as I
entered the MRI room, I would feel it being pulled towards the magnet,
which is not an electro-magnet and is always "ON". That paper clips
can be pulled out of one's hands even when you are 3 feet away.
I was actually in the bed and for 3 seconds my head was in the
doughnut (the magnet or very neer the aagnet and had noticed nothing.
(Of course this was the original bore MRI and my nose was only an inch
from t he top and that's what I was concentrating on, once I noticed
Do I need the x-ray of my eyes?
As an aside.told this story to my 75-year old friend, who used to own
factory, and his father before him, and he remembered 50 years ago
getting some metal in his eye(maybe from something another employee
was doing) and having to go to the Wilmer Eye Clinic, which is still
here and well-known, and they had some special machine to take the
filing out of his eye.
The issue with metals/iron is that the strong magnetic field
associated with MRI scans could cause any iron/steell particles to
move about in your eye and cause damage.
Whether you actually have any metal in your eye, I dunno.
If you have any steel objects in you pockets and you go near these
machines while they are working you can feel them move/tremble.
One thing no one has mentioned, is the metal particle can heat up under the
RF pulses, and this can cause pain or damage to the area around it. Even
metal based pigments in tattoos and makeup apparently can be a source of
On Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:23:17 AM UTC-5, EXT wrote:
Mythbusters proved the tattoo thing was bullshit about 10 years ago. They had a
chick on the show that was covered in tattoos. MRI'd the shit out of her, and
They tattooed a chunk of dead pig with metal-based ink with extra metal mixed
in. MRI'd the shit out of that too, and nothing...
That was one of their early shows where they were actually trying to be
scientific. Before they just blew shit up all the time.
On 2/14/2013 4:37 PM, email@example.com wrote:
a chick on the show that was covered in tattoos. MRI'd the shit out of her, and
But what they recently discovered, is that the new powerful 3 gauss
magnets in the newest MRI machines can actually affect the fluid in your
inner ear, making you very dizzy.
The reason is that the fluid in your inner ear contains dissolved salt
ions. And as it sloshes around, it creates little electrical vectors
which interact with the mag field from the MRI. That can cause the
sensation of vertigo.
I have a sensitive inner ear. The first time I had an MRI, I got
deathly ill from vertigo. So my physician advised me to take Bonine
(meclizine) next time. That did the trick, all right.
a chick on the show that was covered in tattoos. MRI'd the shit out of her, and
I read the whole thing. Very interesting. Thanks.
In fact I may skip the 3T machine here and go to the 1.5T in part to
avoid this problem.
BTW, I think you mean 3T, 3 tesla. 10,000 gauss = 1 tesla. (Of
course I just learned that tonight.)
I hate vertigo. I had a girlfriend in NYC, and 2 of the first 3
dates I had with her, I threw up. One was from the double rotating
teacups at Octoberfest and t he other time, at the Jersey shore, the
bucket where the floor falls away after it is spinning fast enough.
I was fine until it was done, and then I turned my head.
I also won't play those children's games where you spin around until y
ou fall down. I got sick, literally, of those when I was 7.
Most MRI units have electromagnets. They might also have some permanent
ones in there too, I don't know. I was in one open unit myself. I would not
like that tube.
They put a smaller animal unit on one floor of a research facility. I was
walking around above with a string and nail. Moved pretty good.
Small fragment of metal probably do little with the RF field, but you know
what goes first is eye fluid with microwaves.
If it were me, I would not chance a MRI if you think it "could" damage
your eyes. I would "first" go to an eye "doctor"
(opthamologist..sp??). They can examine the eyes closely and tell
you. As a side note, my dad used to work in construction and once got
some metal in his eye. Fortunately we lived next door to an eye
doctor who took him in one evening and examined and cleaned his eye
out. He didn't need any patch and was fine, moments later.
The eye doctor might not be able to tell without a high resolution x-ray
(already recommended to the OP). If the metal is lodged in a layer of
the white of the eye (the sclera) that is below the surface of the
sclera, but has not fully punctured into the clear part of the interior
of the eye, it may be invisible to examination with routine office
equipment. In fact, even if a foreign body is partially penetrating
into the clear part of the eye but is embedded fairly close to the edge
of the iris, that part of interior of the eye cannot be visualized -
there's no way to put a mirror in there and see around a corner. I
agree that if you need the MRI, and your history puts you at risk for
having metallic foreign bodies embedded in your eyes, do what is needed
to ensure that the MRI does not have the potential to damage or even
destroy your vision.
On Thursday, February 14, 2013 1:08:53 PM UTC-5, Doug wrote:
2/14/2013 8:25 AM, Doug wrote: > >> >> If it were me, I would not chance a
MRI if you think it "could" >> damage your eyes. I would "first" go to an e
ye "doctor" >> (opthamologist..sp??). They can examine the eyes closely and
tell >> you. As a side note, my dad used to work in construction and once
octor who took him in one evening and examined and cleaned his eye >> out.
He didn't need any patch and was fine, moments later. >> > >The eye doctor
might not be able to tell without a high resolution x-ray >(already recomme
nded to the OP). If the metal is lodged in a layer of >the white of the eye
(the sclera) that is below the surface of the >sclera, but has not fully p
unctured into the clear part of the interior >of the eye, it may be invisib
le to examination with routine office >equipment. In fact, even if a foreig
n body is partially penetrating >into the clear part of the eye but is embe
dded fairly close to the edge >of the iris, that part of interior of the ey
e cannot be visualized - >there's no way to put a mirror in there and see a
round a corner. I >agree that if you need the MRI, and your history puts yo
u at risk for >having metallic foreign bodies embedded in your eyes, do wha
t is needed >to ensure that the MRI does not have the potential to damage o
r even >destroy your vision. Well okay. Bottom line is go to the eye doctor
and let him/her decide what's best before going any where else.
The first mri I had they did a head xray first. They asked about it and I
said I used to work in the automotive industry. So they said we'll shoot a
quick head xray first. They did that and then 20 minutes or so later I wa
s cleared and getting my mri. What kind of place is equiped to do an mri b
ut not a regular xray?
That has to be one of the dumbest things. Sure the
amount of exposure is going to be a factor in how likely
you are to have gotten something from grinding into your
eye. But given the apparent potential for damage, which
I assume could be loss of vision, I don't see how they can
say the concern only applies for people who do it every
One would think that the more relevant question would be
whether you had an eye injury from any work around metal.
You would think that it's impossible to have a metal shard
in your eye without realizing something went in and experiencing
significant discomfort that would send you
to the eye doctor. I've had things taken out of my eye
twice. Both were so tiny you could not see them, but boy
were they painful. So, I find it hard to believe you could
have something in there without ever knowing you had
an event. But then who knows.....
I did find this from a place that does MRI's and it sounds
consistent with what I would think:
"In addition to the above items, patients who may have previous metal
in the eyes should be extremely cautious. Please let your doctor and
technician know if you have ever had any metal chips or fragments in
your eyes from welding, grinding, or any accidents of any sort. In
these cases, an x-ray of the eye, called an orbital x-ray, must be
taken prior to the MRI procedure. Even if the metal.fragment was taken
out, or came out on its own, or if the eye issue occurred a long time
ago, an x-ray is the only safe way to confirm that there are no
remaining fragments that might impact the procedure. This is
particularly important, because small fragments in the eye could
potentially damage the eyes if brought into the magnetic field."
Here is another one that directly answers your question,
at least from this MRI provider's point of view:
Previous Metal in the Eyes - If you have EVER had any metal chips or
fragments in your eyes from welding, grinding, or any accidents of any
sort, an eye x-ray must be taken prior to the study. Even if the metal
fragment was taken out, or came out on its own, or if it occurred a
long time ago, an x-ray is the only way to confirm that there are no
fragments remaining. This is important because if there are any small
fragments in the eye, it could potentially damage the eyes. We will
arrange these orbital x-rays prior to your scan. If you have done
welding or grinding but never got metal in your eyes, you do not need
the eye x-ray. If there is ever any question about this, the x-rays
should be taken.
It sounds like they are erring on the side of safety. I think
you also have to understand that all patients are not like
you or I. There are language barriers, memory issues, etc.
A metal fragment going into your eye would almost certainly
send you to the eye doctor. For someone else, who knows
On Thu, 14 Feb 2013 06:17:12 -0800 (PST), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
My metal shop teacher (with 6 weeks on printing) , in the 8th grade
told us how his brother got a metal sliver in his eye (and iirc he
didnt' do anything about it) and it eventually worked its way through
the sphere which is the eye and got inside of it. A disgusting story
that made me and I'm sure the rest of us very cautious. (Now it
occurs to me that maybe it never happened to his brother, but I'm sure
it's happened to some people.)
Well at the very least it is an interesting topic, one which perhaps
some here have not considered. I know about the risk, and would not
hesitate getting thoroughly "checked out" prior to having an MRI done.
So, to answer OP, I personally would get the orbital x-ray done, just to
be on the safe side.
It's complicated. Yours is not a bad answer, but it brings up a lot
of thoughs that relate to this. If I went to the EYE doctor, he'd
probably tell me to go back to the Imaging lab and get an X-ray. And
if he said do nothing, see below**. So why waste his time and mine
when I can just call the orthopedist and he'll fax a prescription for
the orbital x-ray to the imaging center.
And while it's often the case that it's silly to ask medical
questions on a home repair group, or home repair on a legal group,
etc. I'd give 90 to 1 odds that there is no metal in my eyes. You
guys work with grinders a lot more than my othopedist and I figured
you'd come up with a way I could have metal and not have noticed.
For example, when I was 6 and a cocker spaniel was following me, I
walked to another cocker spaniel I knew, so they could get to know
each other. The first one ignored the other and jumped all over me.
I couldn't tell if it was gratitude or anger. My mother couldn't
tell if the wounds on my back were claw scratches or if there was a
bite too, so she took me not to a doctor, but to a vet, who she
figured had more experience looking at dog bite wounds. (He said
there were no bites.)
Yes, as Trader sort of said, it's just amazing that two clinics could
have such different attitudes towards this. The first one that said
not to worry has 12 offices in Baltimore and adjacent counties. The
second one has 26 offices. Each of these 38 places has at least one
M.D. radiologist on duty.l. And both chains have many more offices
nationwide. Yet they have very different standards on this. (It was
the one with the strict standard that, when I asked, said I could feel
the metal thing in my eye move the moment I stepped into the room.
The machine doesn't have to be ON, becaue the magnet is always
magnetic. 1.5 teslas strong. .
Now I didn't feel anything, but that could be because I went straight
from the door to the machine, had other th ings on my mind, and only
lasted 3 seconds in t he machine before I panicked. If I had gone
into the room more slowly and waited maybe I would have felt it. But
what I think is the case is that there is no metal and nothing to
OTOH, if I get this orbital x-ray once, and I keep a better record in
my head of my grinding habits, I'll only need the one x-ray for the
rest of my life. (BTW, I'm also slightly claustrophobic and just got
off the phone with one of the 4 places, out of 38, that have wide bore
but closed MRI. (Open MRI that they advertise so much doesn't have
nearly the picture quality a spine doctor needs. It's adequate I'm
sure for some other puproses. X-rays and maybe CT and PET scans don't
show soft tissue. MRI's do, but they take 30, in my case, to 120
minutes and the machne clangs the whole time, just to make it worse.
They do have earphones and music and in this case FM radio stations
you can listen to.with earphones.
So they tell you to get a prescription for valium or something if you
have claustrophobia and to have someone pick you up and take you home.
My usual people are busy next week. I've never had a valium and have
no idea how tranquil it will make me for how long. In the opposite
direction, I can drink caffeinated coffee and go right to sleep
That's what I'll do.
**Exactly. I have had so many examples of malpractice on me , I feel
the need to do my own research.
Fainted and hit the floor when I stood up, in front of my mother.
FAmily doctor decided I had epilepsy and gave me a pill for that.
Mother insisted on specialist neurologist, adn he put me on a second
pill in addition, also for epilepsy. When my mother asked if it was
habit forming, he said "What do you think we are doing here, Mrs.
Bigfoot, running an opium den?" She insisted on another speicallist,
this time it was a neurosurgeon. He watched my EEG and took me off
all the drugs. It turns out all I have is orthostatic hypotension,
which 1/4 to a 1/3 of all Americans have to some degree or other.
Dislocated my shoulder at college, went home the next day and saw the
family doctor the day after that. He should have immobilized my arm
and maybe I wouldn't have had 15 more dislocations and needed surgery.
Went to a clinic for a pain in my side. Doctor says I need
appendectomy that day. Friend gets me appt. at one of the fancy
hospitals on York Avenue in NYC. He said I just had a bruise. I was
15 pounds overweight and had the slightest bulge at my waist but it
was enough to hide the bruise from me. I should have used a mirror.
There are a couple I keep foregtting, plus stories my friends have
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