Asthma, although more common in children, can affect you at any age. Not only does it require maintenance, but attacks can also be life-threatening. A person with asthma has to be well-equipped with the proper medication or tools at all times in case of a sudden attack. Asthma patients and those who suspect they may have the condition can benefit from chest X-rays.
Doctors diagnose asthma in several ways. Before a check-up, be prepared for your doctor to ask you several questions about you and your family’s medical history. Your doctor will also ask you about your symptoms. Aside from considering this information, your doctor will perform a physical exam to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms. You may also be asked to take a lung function test, like a spirometry, to determine whether your breathing is adequate.
X-ray imaging captures digital pictures of the inside structures of your body. The entire test is quick, safe, and simple. There is only a very minimal risk for radiation exposure during a chest X-ray exam because only the lowest dose necessary is used, and patient safety is the number one priority for technicians.
A chest X-ray can show the inside of your lungs and help your doctor see what may be going on that is causing your symptoms. A chest X-ray is necessary to rule out other diseases. While a chest X-ray may not be able to show whether you have asthma per se, it can confirm if another condition is responsible for the symptoms.
Similarly, when you come into the ER after a severe asthma attack, doctors will also require you to have a chest X-ray done. Those who are also suspected of having heart or lung disease may also have a chest X-ray exam as part of their check-up. Asthma patients can benefit from this because you can learn if you have another condition or an infection that is exacerbating your breathing problems. Some lung diseases which can be captured in a chest X-ray include:
Enlarged heart or other heart anomalies
A chest X-ray exam is performed by a trained radiology professional. Before the X-ray, you will be asked to remove your clothes and wear a gown provided by the facility. All metallic items, such as pieces of jewelry, must be removed for the X-ray to capture images of the area properly and safely. To perform an X-ray, you will be asked to stand close to a machine with the chest near it. The technician will then ask you to stand still while the test is done. It takes only a few minutes to complete an X-ray.
A radiologist will then read and interpret the results before handing the findings over to you or your doctor. Should any anomalies be observed, further steps can be taken from there.