Are X-rays safe? Are you skeptical about undergoing X-rays? This article discusses the real facts about X-rays and whether or not you need precautions when undergoing one at your local Wesley Chapel Chiropractor or elsewhere.
When William Roentgen discovered the use of X-rays, he did not first realize the harm that the X-ray is emitting. Exposure to high amounts of X-ray radiation can lead to cellular changes that may predispose an individual to various conditions such as infertility, bladder cancer, and overall cellular changes. However, when we speak of these negative consequences, we are talking about X-ray radiation in high amounts.
X-rays as used in the clinical setting for diagnostic purposes does not cover excessive radiation exposure. This means that X-rays are relatively safe to use. X-rays used for diagnostic purposes only emit a small amount of radiation to visualize tissues and bones that is not high enough to cause problems. To help you on deciding whether to undergo an X-ray procedure or not, the following are some of the reasons why X-rays are safe:
- X-ray technicians are trained and specialized to perform the procedure
Radiologic technologists are fully educated to perform X-rays on people. They undergo full education on the use of X-rays and practice based on the best available evidence. Radiologic technologists are also able to adjust the radiation into the least amount to prevent overexposure of patients.
- X-rays for imaging studies use the lowest radiation possible
While radiation is needed to visualize the bones and other tissues, X-rays does not deliver high amounts of harmful rays to the body. X-rays use the least amount of rays that is effective to visualize the tissues and bones preventing the effects of radiation to the body.
- X-ray use is only short-term
Problems arising from radiation are seen to occur in those who are exposed to the rays longer such as those who are working in factories with radiation-emitting machines as well as in nuclear power plants. During X-rays, the machine is switched on only for a short period of time and does not stay switched most of the time to reduce the duration of exposure to the radiation. Also, you are not required to undergo the procedure regularly, limiting the number of times you get exposed.
- X-rays expose individuals to radiation similar to the natural exposure of people to environmental radiation
The atmosphere contains radiation rays and predisposes people to radiation exposure on a daily basis. X-rays emit radiation synonymous to the amount of natural radiation the environment has or even smaller in amount. For instance, a regular chest X-ray will emit radiation to the body similar to the radiation you are exposed to in 2 days.
Despite being generally safe, any form of exposure to X-rays should still be monitored especially for patients who receive X-rays more often than the general public. Special considerations should be employed for children and pregnant women. Health professionals who are currently and regularly exposed to X-rays should also use special protective wear to prevent repeated exposure to radiation.