What is Auriscope or Otoscope? How does it work?

An Auriscope also known as an Otoscope, is a simple instrument used to examine the ear canal. There are two main parts of the Otoscope, a handle and a head. The handle is used to position the Otoscope while the head is a compund part with various attachments. A funnel-like speculum (speculum is defined as a duck-bill shaped device doctors use to see inside a hollow part of your body) is attached to the head to examine the ear canal. A magnifying lens and a light are also attached to the head to illuminate as well as magnify the small passage of the ear canal.

During an ear examination, the doctor inserts the speculum of the Otoscope inside the ear, positioning it towards the patients nose, to follow the curve of the ear canal.The light and the attached lens enlarges their view of the ear canal enabling them to examine the tympanic membrane or ear drum of the patient. The switch for the light to turn on and off are present on the handle of the Otoscope while the eye piece of the magnifying lens is positioned on the broad end of the speculum.

The versatility of Otoscope lies in its simple design and it is commonly used to examine the nostril and upper throat as well. Otoscopes are durable and frequently used by ENT specialists (Ear, Nose ,Throat), a similar device used for examining the eye is called as an Opthalmoscope and used by Ophthalmologists or Eye Doctors.

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