An otoscope is an instrument used to examine the ears and illuminate the eardrum so that the surgeon can identify normal landmarks and pathology. This instrument is made with an illuminating handheld light source with a small amount of magnification attached to it. It is not normally a painful experience and can usually be undertaken in all age groups.
In addition, the use of tuning forks as a gauge of hearing may sometimes be used as part of the consultation. However, sometimes it is required to undertake formal hearing tests to ascertain a more exact level of hearing. Occasionally the eardrum and canal need to be viewed under magnification and a microscope can be used to provide this. The microscope allows for binocular vision, depth of field and the use of microsuction if necessary, to remove wax or debris from an ear canal.
To look at the front of the nose, a simple speculum together with illumination from a headlight is used to visualize the anatomy and possible pathology. Sometimes, especially after nasal surgery, a rigid or flexible endoscope can be used to inspect the nose.
An external examination of the neck is not uncommon to feel for any glands or pathology. This is undertaken manually feeling the different areas of the neck in a methodical fashion.
The oral cavity is thoroughly examined often with a tongue depressor and good illumination to visualize the tongue and tonsillar area. It is not uncommon to visualize the back of the nose and the voice box with a flexible nasolaryngoscope.
The nasolaryngoscope is a fine fiber optic cable that is inserted into the nose. It is a strange feeling in the nose as it is inserted but is certainly tolerable and gives the surgeon a superb view of areas that are very difficult to examine otherwise. The whole procedure usually only takes a minute and is often required as part of a thorough ENT examination.
In summary an ENT Consultation can be an overwhelming experience due to the wide variety of examination techniques used. The team at Michigan ENT & Allergy Specialists will be thorough in your examination. Our summary to the ENT examination hopefully guides you through the full ENT examination, which may be completely undertaken or tailored to an individual’s need.