Why Do You Need an X-Ray?

An x-ray can offer immediate diagnosis and answers to various health issues. According to medical statistics, about 70% of Americans undertake x-rays annually. Therefore, there is a high chance you will require an x-ray eventually. Fortunately, x-ray Chapel Hill has onsite x-rays to help diagnose your medical condition. But despite being a commonly used diagnostic tool, x-rays still need to be better understood, and most people get surprised when their doctor orders an x-ray. Here is everything you need to know about x-rays and why you might need them.

Reasons For Getting an X-Ray

X-rays collect information about your internal body. They can detect tumors, broken bones, enlarged hearts, lung fluid, arthritis, digestive problems, dental issues, osteoporosis, infections, etc. Some of the reasons you provide might recommend an x-ray include;

  1. Injuries

If you experience any injury while playing sports, at work, or in an auto accident, an x-ray is essential in diagnosing the specific injury and evaluating the severity.

  1. Cardiovascular Conditions

X-rays are useful in showing the shape and size of your heart. It can determine heart conditions such as heart failure, enlarged heart, or valve disorder. It can also examine calcium deposits when diagnosing constrictive pericarditis.

  1. Bowel Issues

X-rays are also useful in identifying any problems in your gastrointestinal tract. When undertaking digestive tract x-rays, you are given barium to help increase the visibility of possible problems in your stomach, esophagus, and small and large intestine. Barium absorbs the x-ray radiation; hence when your gastrointestinal tract is clear, it looks white. Any possible abnormalities contrast the white color.

  1. Lung Problems

Your lungs are filled with air and appear black on x-ray. Any abnormalities like scar tissue or tumors appear in grey and white patches. 

How Should You Prepare for An X-Ray?

You don’t normally require to do anything special to prepare for an x-ray. You can drink and eat as normal, as well as take any usual medications. However, if you undertake an x-ray that uses a contrast agent, you might be required to stop taking particular medications, drinking, or eating for some hours. For any x-ray, you should let your provider know whether you are pregnant. It’s not recommended to undertake an x-ray when pregnant unless it is an emergency. Consider wearing loose and comfortable clothes and avoid wearing jewelry.

What Should You Expect During an X-Ray

During an x-ray, your provider will ask you to stand against a flat surface or lie on the table so that the body part being examined can be positioned appropriately. The radiographer focuses the x-ray machine on the body part being examined. The machine is operated from the next room or behind the screen. The x-ray lasts a few seconds, and you won’t feel any pain. Several x-rays are often taken from different angles to offer as detailed information as possible. After the scan, your doctor will examine the images and decide on your proper treatment plan.

Ultimately, x-rays are safe and very helpful in diagnosing various conditions. They use naturally occurring electromagnetic radiations similar to those we are exposed to daily. The radiation amount required is not much, and the advances in medical technology have reduced the amount more. Exposure to x-rays doesn’t carry the risk of cancer in years to come.