If you’ve ever had chest pain, you know it’s not fun. If you’ve ever had a nasty cough that won’t go away, you understand misery. Situations like these that involve the chest often require diagnostic tests like x-rays. Luckily, urgent care center like Piedmont Minor Emergency Clinic offer quick, painless X-ray services that can identify the problem fast so you can get better.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, chest x-rays are the most common x-ray test used to diagnose health problems. But what health problems result in the need for a chest x-ray? Let’s find out:
Scenario #1: A persistent cough
A cough is caused by irritation in the nerves in your airway. A chronic cough, which may require a chest x-ray, lasts 8 weeks or more. Sometimes a persistent cough can be an indication of conditions like pneumonia, which can be diagnosed through a chest x-ray.
Scenario #2: Allergies
Allergies can have a huge impact on the chest and lungs. They can make breathing difficult and uncomfortable, can cause congestion and other symptoms. A chest X-ray can help determine if the symptoms that appear to be allergy-related are actually allergies, or something more serious.
Scenario #3: Asthma-related breathing
Difficulty breathing can be a symptom of another health problem like asthma. That’s why medical professionals use chest X-rays when a person comes to them with shortness of breath. Chest X-rays allow the doctor to look at the lungs, heart and other internal structures that may indicate a condition like asthma, or something more serious.
Scenario #4: Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is a serious disease that affects the lungs. The bacteria that attack the lungs can travel and attack other parts of the body, making diagnosis and treatment incredibly important. A chest X-ray can help diagnose and monitor tuberculosis so the right amount of treatment is sought.
What to Expect if You’re Getting a Chest X-Ray
Do you have a health problem that requires a chest X-ray? Don’t worry. Chest X-rays are easy and can be done in under 30 minutes.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that a chest X-ray is performed through the following steps:
- The patient stands in front of the X-ray machine.
- The healthcare provider will ask the patient to hold his/her breath while the X-ray is taken.
- An image of the chest is taken by the X-ray machine.
- The patient will then be asked to stand sideways.
- Another image is taken by the X-ray machine.
This procedure is virtually pain-free, so you have nothing to worry about. If you have breathing problems, or a persistent cough, visit Piedmont Minor Emergency Clinic. We’ll figure out what the problem is and help you get better.