An X-ray is a method of imaging that is used for taking a view into your body without any invasive procedure. It is a very old and a very reliable method of body imaging, used strictly for diagnostic purposes, and has become more sophisticated over time. Read on to know more about X-rays and when to take them.
Use of X-ray for Diagnostic Purposes
Your doctor may order you an x-ray during the course of your treatment, often at the very onset. X-rays are used for an examination of the area of your body where you have been experiencing pain or discomfort.
It may also be periodically ordered to keep a track on the progress of the disease or condition that you have been suffering from. Other than this, an x-ray is also a good way to know about the results of your already ongoing treatment.
Popular Reasons for Getting an X-ray
The common reasons for getting an x-ray done include, but are not limited to patients who have been suffering from tooth decay, osteoporosis, breast cancer, fractures, infections, digestive issues, blocked vessels, bone cancer, obstructive lung diseases, arthritis and the like.
Preparation for an X-ray
Any object that may cast an opaque shadow on the x-ray has to be removed from the body when the patient is being prepped for an x-ray. This includes belts, jewelry, metallic objects, coins, purses and buttoned clothing too.
Loose and comfortable clothing is advised, so often the hospital will provide you with a gown. This also depends on the portion of the body that is to be x-rayed.
If you have had metal implants before, then this knowledge is too intimated to your doctor. They may show up on your x-ray and become a cause for concern if this knowledge is not made known to him.
Use of a Contrast Dye
Sometimes, to get a better image result, you may be required to take in a contrast dye. Depending upon the extent of your need to get the x-ray done, this dye may be either injected into you, administered as an enema or you may be asked to simply swallow it.
For x-rays of the stomach and abdomen, your doctor may ask you to stop eating or drinking for a while. You may also be given a laxative to relieve your bowels before the x-ray is taken.
Side effects Involved
The level of radiation used to get an x-ray done is a very safe level for most adults. However, for developing babies, it could be harmful. So if you are pregnant, or believe yourself to be, inform your doctor or radiologist beforehand. Maybe they will suggest you an alternative to an x-ray, like an MRI.
Reactions to the contrast dye include, but are not limited to, itching, nausea, lightheaded feeling and a sharp, metallic taste on your tongue. In very, very rare cases a contrast dye could result in an anaphylactic shock also. So if you have any allergies, make sure you make them known before you take the contrast dye.
An x-ray is a window into your body that helps your doctor to effectively diagnose your condition and a boon to the medical industry.
How much radiation in a dental X ray?
Dental x-rays are one of the lowest radiation dose studies performed. A routine exam which includes 4 bitewings is about 0.005 mSv, which is less than one day of natural background radiation. It is also about the same amount of radiation exposure from a short airplane flight (~1-2 hrs).