4 Situations that Require a Chest X-Ray (And What to Expect)

If you’ve ever had chest pain, you know it’s not fun. If you’ve ever had a nasty cough that won’t go away, you understand misery. Situations like these that involve the chest often require diagnostic tests like x-rays. Luckily, urgent care centers like GoHealth Urgent Care offer quick, painless X-ray services that can identify the problem fast so you can get better.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, chest x-rays are the most common x-ray test used to diagnose health problems. But what health problems result in the need for a chest x-ray? Let’s find out:

Scenario #1: A persistent cough

A cough is caused by irritation in the nerves in your airway. A chronic cough, which may require a chest x-ray, lasts 8 weeks or more. Sometimes a persistent cough can be an indication of conditions like pneumonia, which can be diagnosed through a chest x-ray. 

Scenario #2: Allergies

Allergies can have a huge impact on the chest and lungs. They can make breathing difficult and uncomfortable, can cause congestion and other symptoms.  A chest X-ray can help determine if the symptoms that appear to be allergy-related are actually allergies, or something more serious.

Scenario #3: Asthma-related breathing

Difficulty breathing can be a symptom of another health problem like asthma. That’s why medical professionals use chest X-rays when a person comes to them with shortness of breath. Chest X-rays allow the doctor to look at the lungs, heart and other internal structures that may indicate a condition like asthma, or something more serious.

Scenario #4: Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is a serious disease that affects the lungs. The bacteria that attack the lungs can travel and attack other parts of the body, making diagnosis and treatment incredibly important. A chest X-ray can help diagnose and monitor tuberculosis so the right amount of treatment is sought.

What to Expect if You’re Getting a Chest X-Ray

Do you have a health problem that requires a chest X-ray? Don’t worry. Chest X-rays are easy and can be done in under 30 minutes. Plus, your xray becomes a permanent part of your medical history so all providers in the Northwell system can easily access them.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that a chest X-ray is performed through the following steps:

  1. The patient stands in front of the X-ray machine.
  2. The healthcare provider will ask the patient to hold his/her breath while the X-ray is taken.
  3. An image of the chest is taken by the X-ray machine.
  4. The patient will then be asked to stand sideways.
  5. Another image is taken by the X-ray machine.

This procedure is virtually pain-free, so you have nothing to worry about. If you have breathing problems, or a persistent cough, visit a GoHealth Urgent Care location nearest you. We’ll figure out what the problem is and help you get better.

View all articles
Culture Of Care

Highly skilled, caring providers go out of their way to make you their #1 priority.

Trusted Partnerships

We partner with leading health systems that have the finest networks of physicians and clinicians.

Effortless Experience

Enjoy effortless access with online check-ins, walk in appointments and integrated electronic medical records.

Innovative Facilities

State of the art urgent care centers welcome you with a clean, contemporary design engineered for your comfort and privacy.

Health News and Tips for the Whole Family

By providing your email address you agree that GoHealth Urgent Care and our health system partner may contact you in the future. Your privacy is important to us; view our Privacy Policy.