There is a lot of paranoia about X-rays and their dangers. Ironically, avoiding having an X-ray can make patients vulnerable to potentially life-threatening injury or life-altering disability which would otherwise be easily discovered in the imaging scan.
Let’s just get one thing out of the way: Every American is exposed to about 620 millirems of radiation every year, and a chest X-ray exposes you to only about 10 millirems of radiation. Those data points are courtesy of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Just from drinking water and eating meats and vegetables, each of us consumes an average of 30 millirems of radiation every year (Brazil nuts, bananas, potatoes, and carrots have impressive amounts of radioactive material!) Given this information, you can gain a clearer perspective of how radiation is indeed part of life here on Earth, even without our modern technology.
How Much Radiation Are We Exposed to in Imaging Scans?
A chest X-ray exposes you to the equivalent of the background radiation you are exposed to during a normal day – from radon in the air (symbol Rn, atomic number 86, on the Periodic Table of the Elements), cosmic rays, and radiation from Earth isotopes. It would only become risky if you get a chest X-ray every day.
Another type of diagnostic imaging procedure is the CT scan, which exposes you to a higher dose of radiation than an X-ray. Whereas a chest X-ray exposes you to 10 millirems of radiation, a full-body CT scan exposes you to 1,000 millirems.
A CT scan of the head exposes you to 200 millirems, and that of the chest is 700 millirem. This is why CT scans are performed only when necessary, and only when X-rays will not provide the level of detail the doctor needs to make a diagnosis.
Radiologists are trained to use only the minimal amount of radiation necessary in diagnostic imaging procedures. The sooner your doctor can make a diagnosis, the sooner you can get started on potentially life-saving treatment.
Are Digital X-Rays Better than Traditional X-rays?
Because of the demand for an imaging scan that produces less exposure to radiation, digital X-rays are now a viable alternative to patients. Instead of using film, digital X-rays use digital image-capture technology. Digital X-rays produce 80% less radiation.
With digital X-rays, there is also greater efficiency – with digital technology allowing the quick production of images, ease of transmission to your doctor, and unlimited storage of data. It is efficient, cost-effective, and even safer than traditional X-rays.
Look for an Accredited Imaging Center
It’s natural to be concerned about your own health and safety, even when it comes to diagnostic procedures. That is why – when deciding on an imaging center to trust with your medical imaging – it’s best to look for a radiology team with many years of successful experience.
Not all diagnostic imaging centers have the latest scanning technologies. For the highest standard of practice, choose a medical imaging center that is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
Digital X-Ray Technology in Palm Beach County, Florida
If you are looking for a diagnostic imaging center that is ACR-accredited for its impeccable procedures, experienced medical team, and excellent results, consider the radiology physicians here at Independent Imaging. Our dedication is not just to provide quick and accurate results, but also to provide safe and compassionate care to our patients.
To request an appointment, call our team at Independent Imaging today at (561) 795-5558 or complete our online appointment request form now. We look forward to serving you.