Ultrasound, in the literal sense of the term, is used to describe sound frequencies that are greater than 20,000 hertz and are well above the limit of the human hearing. Ultrasound techniques employ the use of these sound waves.
In these techniques, the sound waves enter the body, and the reflections and echoes we get back as a result of these waves help us see what’s inside — view the internal organs or detect any abnormalities if present.
Low-frequency sounds do not bring about a clear resolution of the resulting pictures, while higher frequencies help in getting a clearer picture and better understanding.
With the development of technology, different types of ultrasonic imaging have been developed. There are four major types available today which are widely used.
The type used depends on what the purpose of the ultrasound being performed is, and what tool is available at hand during that time.
It is the most common type of ultrasonic imagining that is done. It helps provide two dimensional and flat images. They are most commonly used to diagnose whether you are pregnant or not and keep a check on the foetus to ensure its well-being. This type of imaging has been in use for almost half a century and is still popular and considered standard.
As the name suggests, 3-D ultrasound imaging helps you get a three-dimensional picture and helps you get into a little more detail. In you are having an ultrasound done for your pregnancy, you will be able to see your baby in life-like resolutions. However, they are available in fewer areas, as they are more expensive to run than normal 2-D scans.
While 2-D scans might be difficult to understand, 3-D scans are easier to perceive. 3-D scans help you in visualising blood flow to various organs and tissues, and also help in detecting early stages of diseases such as cysts and cancers, while they are still benign.
The 4-D ultrasound adds another fourth dimension to the existing three-dimensional pictures. This dimension is time. With this added dimension, you will be able to track the baby’s movements, helping you see the most realistic visuals of your baby.
This ultrasound may also help in revealing abnormalities that are not usually visible through the common 2-D ultrasound.
The Doppler Ultrasound is used to measure the blood flow in the blood vessels. The high-frequency sound waves, in this case, bounce off the blood cells and the changes in frequency help to understand the speed and direction in which the blood is flowing using the visuals derived from the echoes. Unlike X-rays, there is no need for injecting a contrasting dye into the patient.
These are highly useful methods that have been adopted by various industries. The market today is teeming with many such ultrasound devices – even ultrasonic cleaners by Hilsonic are making a name for themselves.