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What is an X-ray?
An X-ray is an image obtained by exposing a human body part to an electromagnetic wave called ‘X-ray’.
Obtaining an X-ray is much like obtaining a photograph, except that X-ray wave is used instead of light wave. Light is reflected off the skin, therefore, it produces an image of the exterior of the body. X-ray can penetrate the skin and soft tissues and is generally reflected off the bones. Therefore, X-ray is usually able to obtain images of the skeleton.
Why would my Doctor refer me for an X-ray?
An X-ray is most commonly used to check bones and joints. Your doctor may refer you for an X-ray if he/she suspects a bone or joint abnormality. X-rays are also used for other diagnostic purposes such as checking for pneumonia, digestive problems or certain soft tissue conditions.
Are there risks from having an X-ray?
X-ray exposes you to ionizing radiation. However, the amount of radiation you get from an X-ray is very small and is generally considered safe. Children are more sensitive to radiation than adults, and while the levels they receive during an x-ray are safe, we do try to limit the amount of radiation they receive. X-rays are generally not recommended for pregnant women due to the radiation exposure to the unborn baby.