What are the different parts and functions of an otoscope?

Updated: Mar 09, 2020
  • Author: Ariel A Waitzman, MD, FRCSC; Chief Editor: Ravindhra G Elluru, MD, PhD  more...
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An otoscope consists of a head and a handle and is used to examine the external auditory canal (EAC), the tympanic membrane, and the middle ear. A magnifying lens enhances the clinician’s view. The following two types of head are available for the otoscope:

  • Diagnostic head – This head is fixed to the otoscope and does not allow the use of microinstruments through the scope
  • Working (operating) head – This head has a magnifying lens that can slide to the side, enabling passage of microinstruments through the speculum into the EAC and the middle ear

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