Benefits of X-rays and How are X rays Produced
Doctors use X-rays to help them diagnose illnesses and injuries. They use special machines to take pictures, called “radiographs,” of the inside of your body by passing X-rays through it.
Sometimes your doctor may order that you have an X-ray test done at a hospital or radiology center rather than in the office. The image of the inside of your body is captured on a computer or special film after it passes through the X-rays.
Xrays are in visible light and in ultraviolet rays, in millimeter waves, in soft and hard gamma rays in nuclear magnetic resonance imaging tests
Not only do doctors use X-rays to diagnose certain conditions, but also veterinarians use them to detect problems with animals. If your pet is having surgery, the doctor may order an X-ray test done before he starts the operation. If you have a large dog, you might notice that it has regular teeth cleanings every year in which your vet takes radiographs of its mouth and teeth.
X-rays are used in medicine, industry, research, and investigation.
An X-ray is a type of radiation like ultraviolet rays (UV), visible light (VIS), and infrared (IR) rays; however, its wavelength is shorter than that of UV rays and longer than that of IR rays. X-rays are also stronger than UV and IR rays.
X-rays can be made with an X-ray tube, a device that is similar to the bulb of a conventional light fixture. To produce X-rays, electrons are shot out of the X-ray tube at a metal target, called the “anode.” This material then gives off its electrons, creating a beam of X-rays like the one shown in Figure 1.
This is what an X-ray machine looks like:
X-ray machines are typically found at hospitals and dentist’s offices. Because they require high voltages (120 Volts or 220 Volts AC), most home units run off of power inverters that convert the car battery’s 12 volts DC to 120 or 220 volts AC.
X-rays are useful because the atomic nuclei of some materials give off detectable amounts of energy when struck by X-ray photons. This phenomenon is commonly called “ionizing radiation,” because it can produce ions (atoms or molecules with electric charges) from neutral atoms or molecules.
Xrays are mainly used for medical diagnostics, but can also be used in other areas such as material thickness gauging and baggage screening at airports. They are also increasingly being employed by police forensic units to obtain information about hidden objects or substances without having to disassemble or break them apart, which can be time-consuming and costly.
Xrays are also used for non-destructive testing (NDT) of materials. NDT is employed to inspect materials and components for defects, flaws, or contamination that may not be visible to the human eye under normal conditions. X-ray inspection methods utilize a variety of technologies and techniques such as backscatter radiation, absorption measurements, and XRF.
X-rays are essential for diagnosing (or specifically, localizing) diseases in the brain or other internal organs; they are also used to help localize dental problems. To obtain an X-ray, you simply need to position your body correctly and stay still while a doctor aims the machine at part of your body. Depending on the doctor’s orders, you may need to change your position before each test or hold very still during a series of tests.
X-rays cannot detect problems inside the body if there is a barrier between the X-ray machine and the part being examined, such as bone. For this reason, doctors have to remove any large metal objects from a person’s body, such as shrapnel or fragments of broken bones that are near the injury being examined.
Disadvantages of x rays:
X Rays are ionizing radiation, which means the photons of x rays have more energy than visible light. So they can tear electrons off molecules and make them highly reactive. This, in turn, causes unpredictable damage to tissues and DNA if your cells or genetic material is hit by a stray photon of the x-ray.
X-ray Imaging gives the skin a very large double dose of radiation if CT is done. The first exposure is when you enter the machine and get X-rays to image the body part being examined, then another burst of X-rays are used to make detailed images of specific parts of your body.
There can be an overdose of radiation if multiple X-ray examinations are done during the same visit to the doctor’s office.
The patient gets only one chance to lower their risk for cancer or any medical problems that may come up as a result of overexposure to radiation.
Exposure to high doses of x rays can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and hair loss.
The skin under a bandage or cast will get a large dose of radiation from an x-ray machine if it is not removed before the x-ray examination takes place.
If the patient has a heart pacemaker, it can become defective due to exposure to X Rays.
X Rays can cause cell changes in the eyes.
The child is exposed to even more radiation than an adult because they are growing rapidly and their bones are not as dense as those of an adult, which makes them more sensitive to the effects of ionizing radiation.
Advantages of X-Rays:
1) X-rays can be used to diagnose osteomyelitis, inflammatory conditions of joints and sinuses, fracture healing status.
2) They are often useful in demonstrating foreign bodies, such as wood or metallic items embedded in soft tissue.
3) They are excellent for the evaluation of pulmonary embolism (lung clot).
4) X-rays are extremely good at showing up fractures, dislocations, and bone disease.
5) X-rays are very helpful in identifying the cause of abdominal pain, especially sharp pain over bones.
6) X-ray imaging helps to reveal things that cannot be seen with regular ultrasound scans or CT scans, such as tumors within cavities or behind structures, and things that are very small, such as a needle in a joint.
7) X-rays can also provide information about some tumors that cannot be seen on ultrasound scans or CT scans, such as cancer of the pancreas and liver cancer.
8) A single x-ray or even multiplex rays are not likely to cause harm to the body.
9) X-rays are often helpful when your doctor is trying to find the cause of persistent bone pain.
10) X-rays may be used when there are signs that something else is wrong with a patient, or when treatments for other conditions have not worked.
11) An x-ray can show changes that are not visible on other imaging tests, such as the digestive tract or the bile ducts.
12) X-rays are used to diagnose pain in bones of unknown causes.
13) no special preparation is needed for an x-ray exam, but be sure that you have nothing on your body that would block the view of the area being examined, such as a wallet or keys.
14) X-rays provide pictures of internal tissues and organs within the body.
15) An x-ray is a form of radiation that is used to take images inside the body so as to view bones and tissues at various levels of detail.
16) X-rays are good for examining bony structures, including the joints and skeletal muscles.
17) They are also helpful in identifying foreign objects, such as broken bones in a wound, a knife in a chest, or bullet shells in a leg.
18) X-rays can be used to diagnose many conditions involving the bones and joints.
19) Bone density scans may indicate osteoporosis in some people who don’t have symptoms.
20) X-rays are also an important tool for the detection of lung cancer, which often has no symptoms until it is too late.
How are x rays produced:
X-rays are made by directing a stream of electrons at a metal target.
1. An electron gun produces an electron beam.
2. A power supply attaches to the gun, sending it voltage and current to create an electron beam that is strong enough to be directed at the tungsten target inside the machine. The source of electricity for the power supply is either an electrical outlet or a large bank of batteries.
3. The beam is intensified by adding extra electrons to it at various stages before it reaches the tungsten target, which increases its intensity. This process is called electronic amplification because it makes the stream stronger at each stage.
4. The beam passes through a modulator, which is a metal plate with holes in it that controls the width of the beam. It allows some electrons through and blocks others at each hole.
5. The modulated beam passes through slits, removing any lingering particles before they hit the target.
6. Now the electron stream is ready to strike its target or anode. The electric current through the beam causes it to collide with the anode, releasing electrons (the target is negatively charged).
7. The beam hits the tungsten target, knocking off secondary electrons that are released into the vacuum tube and striking gas atoms inside.
8. This creates a glow of light in many wavelengths across the spectrum, from infrared to x-rays.
9. The energy level in the beam is high enough that when the electron hits the target, it knocks an electron off of a gas atom and liberates a secondary x-ray in the process.
10. The electrons that hit the anode knock off secondary electrons in a process called impact ionization.
11. So many of these electrons are knocked off that it creates an avalanche effect, which results in a large volume of released electrons at the end of the line.
Harmful effects of x rays:
Our body uses approximately one million blood cells per second so there is a continuous renewal of blood.
1) The bones are normally dense, but in some people, they may be less dense because of osteoporosis, or cancer.
2) When an x-ray beam passes through the bloodstream, the stream of fast electrons knocks out electrons from the atoms in the blood cells.
3) This creates a series of highly reactive free radicals, which interact with molecules in the cell to create new chemicals that alter DNA and damage other parts of the cell.
4) In normal bone, this process is self-limiting because when enough cells have been damaged for there to be a noticeable effect, a threshold is reached where the creation of free radicals cannot be compensated by the body’s natural antioxidants.
5) Free radicals can damage cells and tissues throughout the body because all organelles and molecules that make up our bodies are made from similar atoms.
6) In other words, when an x-ray beam passes through your body, it damages your blood, skin, and other tissues that the beam passes through.
Types of x-ray machines used in hospitals:
Fluoroscopy X-ray Machine:
When a person swallows barium sulfate oral contrast or is given some other barium-containing compound, an x-ray examination of the gastrointestinal tract can be performed.
Fluoroscopic image intensifiers:
These x-ray machines generate stronger, more detailed images than do conventional television systems.
Miniature X-rays Systems:
Their small size and portability make them very useful for diagnostic imaging in the field or on the battlefield.
Mobile C-arms (Radiographic Mobile C-arm System):
It provides the clinician with the latest technology in portable fluoroscopy and digital x-ray systems.
Electronic Imaging Plate (EIP):
The EIP is a thin, rectangular piece of amorphous silicon that functions like its predecessor, the intensifying screen, but has several advantages over it.
Breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, is a technique that uses x-rays to create multiple 2D images of the breast. It is similar to standard digital mammography in that it uses low-dose x-ray beams, but different in that the beam does not pass through the breast.
This test uses x-rays to provide detailed images of the blood vessels (arteries and veins) inside your body, particularly those in your heart or inside your brain.
It combines the use of digital image acquisition with filmless processing to yield sharp diagnostic images.
Flat Panel X-ray:
A flat panel x-ray is a device used in medicine to produce digital images of the inside of the body.