Ultrasound is a type of sound pressure with frequencies greater than humans can hear. Some animals, such as dogs, cats, dolphins, bats and mice, can hear ultrasound as they are able to hear sounds of higher frequencies. Here are some of the common uses of ultrasound in the world today!
Uses of Ultrasound
- Let’s start with the obvious. Ultrasound is used in sonography- looking at human babies in the mother’s womb. Ultrasound can be used to work out how old the baby is, determine its location, find the location of the placenta, determine the sex of the baby (male or female), check for heartbeat, check for normal fetal growth and check for any abnormalities. Note that the results from an ultrasound are occasionally wrong. Some people are ‘surprised’ when they have a girl after the ultrasound told them that they would have a boy!
- In industry, ultrasound is used to determine how thick objects such as metals and plastic are.
- Ultrasound has been shown to work with antibiotics in killing bacterial cells.
- Bacteria, particularly those in sewage, can be disintegrated (killed) by using ultrasonic waves.
- Believe it or not, ultrasound can be used to clean teeth. Dental hygienists use ultrasound.
- Focused pulses of ultrasound can break up kidney stones and gallstones into little fragments that can be passed from the body with less difficulty.
- Recently, studies have shown that ultrasound can stimulate the growth of bones.
- Ultrasound is used in elastography. This allows doctors to work out which tissues in the body are healthy and which are unhealthy.
- Ultrasonic waves can be used to weld plastic together. The waves make heat energy between the objects that are joined.
- Ultrasonic cleaners are used by jewelers and doctors to clean things like watches, jewelery, lenses and surgical instruments.
- Liposuction is assisted by ultrasound.