using an otoscope

Discussion in 'Survival Medicine' started by CATO, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    weegrannymush likes this.
  2. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Dr. Mom

    Good source! Thanks for posting.

    The Dr Mom brand otoscope comes with a decent pamphlet (which stays in the kit) The paper has color photos of normal and abnormal views of eardrums.

    If you any small children, a 'scope is worth having.

    Remember to clean/sterilize the speculum (cone shaped earpiece) before you insert it in the other ear. No sense in spreading an infection.

    You should consider an otoscope with at least 3 specula - small medium and adult.

    Some otoscopes come with halogen lights and others with while LED lamps. Halogen lights provide 'natural colors, white LEDs make things look bluer (if that is a term).
    I prefer the Halogen, having used one for years in the ER.
    Battery life is not that big a deal, I'm on the same set of C cells for five years. Ensure you check the batteries at least yearly.

    If you purchase the 'scope, take the time to examine several (or all) of the ears in your household/group to become familiar with what a healthy eardrum/canal looks like.

    It's one of the few pieces of 'hardware' worth having for a home medical kit.

    DO NOT attempt to clean out ear canals of children unless you have received training and have the correct instruments (curette). Far better to use lavage (ear irrigation) to soften the wax and remove with with a gentle pulse of water.
    Sapper John and Guit_fishN like this.
  3. WindWarrior

    WindWarrior Sea Monkey

    My $0.02: If you are going to irrigate the ear, use vinegar, not water, and make sure it is body temperature. Flushing with water can cause swimmer's ear.

    Also, be sure to buy the insufflation bulb. Gently puffing air at the ear drum while watching through the otoscope will help you determine if there is fluid in the middle ear (if there is movement, there is no fluid).
    BTPost likes this.
  4. divadmas

    divadmas Monkey+

    a few years ago i was cleaning my ear canal with a q tip. you are always told not to put anything there but i figured i was being careful and its a q tip. i managed to block my ear with some wax, it was like i put in an earplug as far as hearing. tried warm oil but no go. next time i was at dr a nurse tried to flush it out but no go and was sent to ent. he used a vacuum (a really loud one) to clear blockage. when i stood up my vision narrowed and i was dizzy for a few seconds. all better now.
  5. WindWarrior

    WindWarrior Sea Monkey

    The dizziness was from circulation of cold air against your eardrum, which gets transmitted to your inner ear. The temperature difference makes the inner ear fluid flow and causes vertigo. It only lasts a few seconds.
  6. divadmas

    divadmas Monkey+

    interesting. the doc wasnt too excited and it only lasted seconds. there was definite tunnel vision, i wonder what caused that? i had thought low bp as i am on meds but never hapened before or since.
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    The "tunnel vision" is associated with the standing up, not the cleared out ear. BP transient. I've had that happen now and then for my whole life as I have notoriously low BP to start with. Your meds are working; but keep your quack in the loop; might be you are taking more than you need.
    Guit_fishN likes this.
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