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Published On: Mon, Jul 6th, 2015

What Makes A Great Otoscope

The otoscope is one of the most important medical instruments. Every clinic or medical facility in the world has one. Its role is to provide an insight view on the ear canal, as well as the deepest elements. Physicians use it to check the interior and identify hearing problems or infections before they become severe. There are more signs that can trigger the presence of a problem. But most commonly, doctors will do it when the middle part of the ear releases pus or fluids.

The interesting part is that many ear problems occur during childhood. Unfortunately, children do not always mention any signs. Problems become obvious when they tug their lobes or they cry. The discomfort is hard to cope with, while some problems may also bring in pain or fever. If your kid is too young to talk, these problems become even more challenging. This is what makes the otoscope such an important instrument. The good news is that otoscopes are now available for residential uses too. Purchasing one for domestic uses is highly indicated, only for prevention and maintenance.

Apart from inspecting ears, otoscopes make great evaluation tools in the upper throat and nose as well. This industry is relatively new when it comes to domestic uses, but it does not mean that otoscopes are not advanced enough though. In fact, you might have to pay attention to specific features that can make the difference. So, what should you know about an otoscope?

 otoscope photo courtesy of powertoolsplanet.com

otoscope photo courtesy of powertoolsplanet.com

Common specifications to look for in an otoscope

The power source is never to be overlooked. You got two options – electricity and batteries. Batteries are more convenient because they ensure portability. On the other hand, electricity is more cost efficient in the long run. You no longer need to worry about batteries, especially since you are less likely to use the otoscope day by day anyway.

Consider the light source as well. There are usually two types of bulbs used in the otoscope construction. Incandescent lights produce a yellow light. Halogen bulbs are known for the bright white light. White light is normally clearer, yet some parents might feel more comfortable with the warm yellow light. Most specialists rely on halogen bulbs though.

The magnifier gives you access to the ear internals. Not every model comes with a magnifier though, yet beginners (or parents) will love it. It offers a deep insight view of the tympanic membrane. Check the official specifications and ensure that your model comes with a magnifier.

Finally, do not overlook the specula either. Speculum are available in all kinds of sizes. Most of them can be reused, so avoid those disposable items. If you get the otoscope for your baby, opt for a narrow one. Sure, it does pay off to invest in a few different sizes for farther uses as well.

In conclusion, buying an otoscope should not be such a challenging task. Just make sure that you take your time and understand the role, purpose and specifications of each feature.

Guest Author: Arya Mullen

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- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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  1. Nora says:

    Useful info. There’s one point however that I would like to raise. When shopping for the best otoscope, the choice will be largely based on whether you want to use it for professional tasks or at home. An otoscope for a student or a doctor will usually be different.

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