A medical instrument used to examine the ear is called the otoscope. The procedure of studying the ear and its functions in a patient, using the medical device, is called otoscopy.
We shall now divide our discussion into two parts: Part 1 – The otoscopic device and how to use it correctly Part 2 – The internal and external examination of the ear
During the otoscopy procedure, first the examiner will perform a visual examination. The patient shall have to tilt his head while the doctor peers into the ear. This helps in the primary detection of a ear-disease or any anomalous developments. The tissues surrounding the auditory canal and the tympanum are viewed. If no tenderness, redness, skin tags or wax build-up are seen, then based on the physician’s discretion, he may proceed to the next level of examination.
Here, the otoscope is used. The healthcare experts perform this step on patients, with utmost care. The device is entered into the ear canal to enable internal examination. The main aspects that are checked are – discharge or excessive wax accumulation, displacement in internal region, discoloration of any part of the auditory organs, deformity in the structure and pain experienced by the candidate. The instrument is so designed that it has a surgical head or diagnostic end and remaining body which provides the power source. Most otscopes have a light in the anterior end so that they can illuminate the region to be seen. These incandescent bulbs work on rechargeable batteries which are fitted in the body of the tool. As you must already know, the speculum is a scientific instrument which is used to investigate body parts, collect tissues for sample studies, to remove polyps etc. Such an tool is needed even to inspect the auditory canal and hence, the otoscope has the facility to include speculums. The speculum can be of different sizes and can be of the re-usable or the use and throw type. It is generally 3mm wide and is gently twisted inside the ear-canal in the clockwise direction, during examination. Subsequently, with the help of a magnifying glass, the canal, the tympanic membrane, cerumen and other parts involved in auditory function are studied.
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