Does Your Loved One Need a Chest X-ray if She Has COPD?
When your loved one is diagnosed with COPD, her doctor is likely to order all sorts of tests. One of the tests could be a chest X-ray, which can show your loved one’s doctor less about COPD and more about other conditions that she might have alongside the COPD.
A Chest X-ray Doesn’t Diagnose COPD
It’s a common misconception that your loved one’s doctor is able to see all sorts of problems on an X-ray, including COPD. But in reality, COPD is not diagnosed using an x-ray because it just doesn’t show up on film like a broken bone or some other problem might. Laboratory tests and lung function tests actually help your loved one’s doctor diagnose the presence of COPD while the chest X-ray gives different information.
Other Conditions Do Show up on X-rays
What chest X-rays can do is diagnose other health conditions, such as cancer in the lungs, pneumonia, or emphysema. All of these conditions can exist alongside COPD, making the condition, even more draining for your loved one. As your loved one’s COPD worsens, other related conditions may start appearing on chest X-rays, such as the diaphragm changing and flattening.
They Can Show Changes Over Time
Your loved one’s doctor may only want an initial chest X-ray to serve as a baseline. Your loved one could go for quite a long time without another chest X-ray, in fact. If she experiences lung infections or an increase in symptoms that doesn’t make sense, your loved one’s doctor may want another chest X-ray to see what changes have occurred since the initial film.
Normal Chest X-rays Don’t Mean Your Loved One Doesn’t Have COPD
Again, COPD can’t be diagnosed from a chest X-ray. What can be seen, however, are abnormalities, changes, and other health conditions. So while a normal chest X-ray can be good news on some levels, it doesn’t mean that your loved one no longer has COPD or no longer has breathing issues. A chest x-ray is a tool that helps to rule out other problems and concerns.
COPD can really sap your loved ones strength and energy, especially on the bad days. Consider hiring home care providers to help you and your loved one power through those days that aren’t as great.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering homecare in Indian, AK, call us! The friendly staff at Shine Bright Care are here to answer your questions. Call toll-free (888) 264-5998
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