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What is an Otoscope?

An otoscope or auriscope is a medical device which is used for ear examination. Whit an otoscope you can investigate the ear canal and tympanic membrane or eardrum.

otoscopeThe regular otoscope has a handle and a head. On the head, there is low-power magnifying glass and light. The front end of the otoscope has an attachment for disposable plastic ear specula. This is the end that is inserted in the patient’s ear for examination. The otoscope should be held carefully against the patient’s ear to prevent unwanted injury. The medical professional can look through the lens and see inside the ear. There is a possibility for lens removal so other instruments can be inserted through the otoscope into the ear canal and be used for different purposes, for example removing earwax (cerumen). This medical device also can be equipped with an insertion point for a bulb which allows pushing air through the speculum and it is called pneumatic otoscope. With this air flow, the examiner can test the mobility of the tympanic membrane.

The otoscope is used to diagnose infections of the middle and outer parts of the ear or in medical terms otitis media and otitis externa. This instrument is often used for examining the nose and upper throat of a patient.

The most commonly used otoscope is monocular otoscope, which gives a two-dimensional view of all ear parts. For determining the depth of the ear is used binocular otoscope. Using this device, the medical professional has both hands free, hence the instrument is fixed on a stand.

As for humans, otoscopes are also used in veterinary medicine. With this device, a veterinary professional can determine what is the cause of the animal’s ear disease and set proper diagnosis, so it can be treated on time with the right medical treatment.


nadine hailton book author
Nadine Hamilton - Author of “Coping with Stress and Burnout as a Veterinarian”
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