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What an X-ray Can Reveal About Your Lung Health

Sep 11, 2023
What an X-ray Can Reveal About Your Lung Health
Are you worried about what's happening inside your lungs? An X-ray can reveal hidden conditions and help protect your lung health. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about this important medical tool.

Are you worried about the health of your lungs and wondering the best way to check for potential health issues? An X-ray is one of the most common diagnostic tools used in medicine, particularly for examining the lungs.

In the hands of the board-certified providers at Triad Internal Medicine in Asheboro, North Carolina, X-rays are invaluable in revealing key information about your lung health. Take a moment to learn what an X-ray is and what it can uncover about the condition of your lungs.

Understanding X-rays

X-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation, which is similar to visible light but with higher energy. When used medically, X-rays can penetrate your body and create images of your internal structures. 

This noninvasive procedure doesn’t hurt, and it allows your provider to view your lungs and other lung-related structures without making any incisions. It can also detect a wide variety of abnormalities and diseases. 

Here's how a typical X-ray is performed::


You may be asked to remove jewelry or other metallic objects, as they can interfere with the X-ray image.


Depending on what the provider is looking for, you might stand, sit, or lie down in various positions.


The X-ray machine will send a quick burst of radiation through your body, capturing an image on a specialized digital sensor or film.

This diagnostic tool is safe when performed by an X-ray specialist, distributing only small amounts of radiation. In fact, the radiation dose from a standard chest X-ray is comparable to the natural radiation you're exposed to over 10 days. 

At Triad Internal Medicine, we also use digital X-rays, which lower your radiation exposure even more. Your provider always makes sure that the benefits of the X-ray outweigh any potential risks to your health.

Using X-rays to reveal lung health

There’s a reason medical professionals use X-rays so frequently — they can reveal many different lung conditions without incisions or needles. Here’s a look at some of the most common lung conditions that can be detected through X-ray imaging:


Infection in the lungs can cause inflammation and fluid build-up, clearly visible on an X-ray.


This bacterial infection leaves specific signs in the lungs that can be identified through X-ray imaging.

Lung cancer

Tumors and growths may show up on an X-ray, although additional imaging might be needed for a full diagnosis.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Emphysema and chronic bronchitis, parts of COPD, can be diagnosed with the help of an X-ray.

Pleural effusion

Fluid around the lungs (in the pleural space) can be seen on an X-ray and may indicate underlying disease.

Fractured ribs

Though not a lung condition, rib fractures are often examined via X-rays and can affect lung function.

Getting started with chest X-rays

Understanding the condition of your lungs can be key when it comes to diagnosing and treating lung health issues. If you're experiencing symptoms like persistent coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, or unexplained fatigue, an X-ray might be the first step in identifying the cause.

At Triad Internal Medicine, our board-certified providers are dedicated to offering comprehensive care personalized to meet your unique needs. If you have concerns about your lung health, don’t wait to talk to one of our providers. 

Schedule your appointment online or over the phone at Triad Internal Medicine in Asheboro, North Carolina, and take a proactive step in protecting your lung health today.