The Otoscope - an Important Examination Instrument
The otoscope is a diagnostic instrument used primarily in general medicine and paediatrics, but also in ENT medicine. It is used to examine the external auditory canal up to the eardrum and, if an insufflation port is available, can also be used for pneumatic testing of the eardrum.
An otoscope usually consists of an instrument head, a handle or battery grip and an ear speculum, which is inserted into the ear canal during otoscopy. Most manufacturers offer diagnostic sets consisting of several components so that the instrument heads can be switched and a separate handle is not required for each diagnostic instrument. These diagnostic sets are not only economical but also environmentally friendly, since on the one hand less waste is produced and on the other hand several handles do not have to be charged simultaneously.
How does an Otoscope Work?
An otoscope is designed to allow the external auditory canal and eardrum to be examined under magnification and illumination. For this purpose, it is equipped with a light source that brightly illuminates the auditory canal so that the tissue can be easily assessed. Most otoscopes have a magnifying glass as a viewing window, which magnifies sufficiently to be able to examine the ear with all its details. The speculum, which is inserted into the ear canal, has several purposes.
On the one hand, it focuses the light and thus ensures targeted illumination with little stray light, and on the other hand, it serves to keep the auditory canal open and straightened during the examination. It also prevents the otoscope head from coming into direct contact with the patient, resulting in higher hygiene during the examination and preventing the occurrence of infection transmission when either disposable tips are being used or reusable tips are properly reprocessed.
Which Light Sources are Available for Otoscopes?
Otoscopes are usually equipped with either halogen, xenon or LED illumination. The difference between the individual light sources is in brightness as well as in colour temperature and durability. While halogen and xenon lamps need to be replaced regularly, LED lamps offer a durability of up to 100,000 hours and thus a bulb change is usually not necessary during the lifetime of the instrument. LEDs are also particularly bright and provide homogeneous illumination of the examination area. Although LED otoscopes offer many advantages, they are also significantly more expensive than halogen or xenon instruments.
The MacroView Otoscope with Diagnostic Lamp from Welch Allyn can be compared to the HEINE BETA 200 LED F.O. and BETA 400 F.O.. Thanks to the adjustable focus and the advanced optics unit, the otoscope offers an extensive and unrestricted field of view as well as 30% more magnification. The Macro View is available with either an LED or halogen bulb.
What is the Advantage of Fibre Optic Otoscopes?
In contrast to direct illumination, fibre optic illumination (F.O. illumination) does not cause any restriction of the field of view. With direct illumination, the light source resides in the upper area of the instrument head and thus in the examiner's field of vision. Therefore, to be able to assess the blind area, the doctor needs to move the otoscope around a little in the auditory canal, which on the one hand prolongs the examination time and on the other hand may make the examination more uncomfortable for the patient. With fibre optics, the light source is placed in the head of the otoscope and the light is directed to ensure even illumination and unrestricted vision.
In addition to the conventional otoscopes, there are more advanced video otoscopes, which enable recording and saving of the otoscopy. This makes it possible to draw exact comparisons between several, temporally staggered examinations of the patient. In addition, patients can follow the diagnostics live on the screen, which has a positive influence on the communication between doctor and patient.
The «Firefly» video-Otoscope DE500 offers very good image quality thanks to the modern adjustable LED illumination and is suitable for image and video recordings. The video otoscope is suitable for use in ENT, telemedicine, patient education as well as for training purposes.
Which Otoscope is Suitable for Children?
Basically, any otoscope can be used for otoscopy in children, but the ear speculum must be tapered according to the anatomical conditions so that it fits the diameter of the auditory canal. Special, extra small specula are available for this purpose. However, some manufacturers, such as Luxamed, offer special otoscopes for children. These differ in design from conventional otoscopes because they are particularly colourful and child-friendly.
Order Otoscopes Online at Praxisdienst at a Great Price
At Praxisdienst, ENT doctors, paediatricians and general practitioners will find a large selection of otoscopes, ophthalmoscopes and diagnostic sets from renowned manufacturers such as Riester, KaWe or Luxamed, at reasonable prices. In our online shop you will find classics such as the KaWe Piccolight or the Riester e-scope, as well as modern otoscopes and novelties such as the "Firefly" video otoscope.
Of course, we also offer the matching supply for your diagnostic instrument. In the categories Ear Specula & Accessories and Handles & Chargers you can find reusable ear specula, USB charging handles, battery handles, table chargers and other original accessories for your medical instrument.
You can find further diagnostic devices, compatible accessories as well as therapy and wellness products in the overview of the Diagnostics category.