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X-rays have become an essential tool in the medical profession. Doctors the world over rely on x-rays to diagnose internal problems. A painless and simple procedure for patients to endure, they allow for accurate medical diagnoses of bones and tissues.

Patients may be provided with a copy of the x-ray image. Without knowledge or experience most of us will find it difficult to interpret what they are seeing. However, with a little education, we can all learn how to interpret what we see.

How X-Rays Images Appear

Firstly, it’s important to understand how x-rays work. Bone is displayed visually as being of a whitish clear, cloudy colour, whereas internal organs, muscles and cartilage have a shade of grey. Internal spaces are black. Once you know this, you’re well on your way to interpreting what you’re seeing.

Hold X-Rays to the Light

X-rays are able to be interpreted with ease when bright light hits them. A light box is highly effective when interpreting the imagery. If you haven’t access to a light box then, a window with a consistent light source can just as easily allow you to be able the imagery.

What to Look for in Chest X-Rays

When considering a chest x-ray it’s paramount that you review for foreign objects, pockets of air and fluid. Foreign objects are easy to spot on the image since they usually stand out. Chest x-rays do not, however, detect contrast should you have fluid in your lungs. You will be able to detect that the boundaries of the lungs are hard to spot for those with fluid in the lungs. You may well also detect that these areas will appear black as large areas of air will block organs or tissue.

What to Look for in Breast X-Rays

Those that need to interpret breast x-rays should look for calcium deposits. White spots will be present on the x-ray. These spots will be either loose or in a tight cluster, depending on the amount present.

What to Look for in Bone X-Rays

When reviewing a bone x-ray, you should always check for grey or uneven areas. This will signify a fracture or break. Should you have suffered a clean break, part of the bone will be misaligned, raised or sunk at an angle.

Light boxes are integral in order to appropriately interpret an x-ray. True, vivid light sources can provide you with sufficient capacity to interpret what you see, but for an accurate unquestioned interpretation, light boxes are what you need.

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