So far we’ve found out loads about sound waves and light waves , but can waves be used to help people get better when they’re ill?
Listen to to this clip…
You should now have a good idea about how waves are used in medicine.
So how do doctors use waves?Embed from Getty Images
Doctors can use waves to see inside us so that they can figure out what’s wrong with us and how to make us better.
There are a few different methods they use…
X-RaysEmbed from Getty Images
You’ve probably heard of X-Rays, it’s a way that doctors can see your bones. They use it so they can see any broken bones you might have.
X-Rays are a very special type of wave that can pass through your body!
X-Ray waves generally pass through your body, through your skin and soft tissues to the other side where they are recorded using special machinery. When the X-Rays go all the way through, they create a black image.
But when X-Rays hits objects like bones or organs such as your kidneys, the waves are blocked and a white image is created. And that’s how you get those black and white X-Ray images!
UltrasoundEmbed from Getty Images
This is another type of wave that lets doctors see inside people. This is the one that’s used to see babies while they are still inside the mum.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to look inside the body. The sound waves bounce off things like an echo in a cave.
Different types of tissue, like fluid, bone or muscle, send back different sounding echoes which are translated into a moving image by a computer.
But doctors don’t just use waves to see inside people
They can use waves to help treat diseases too.
These are a type of waves that can kill cancer cells.
Cancer is a disease that can make people really ill and it’s caused by cells in your body (cells are what your body’s made up of) malfunctioning and becoming cancerous.
A machine called a ’gamma knife’ fires hundreds of gamma rays onto a tumour (lots of cancer cells all together) with remarkable accuracy and can kill these cells which can help cure people of cancer.