How to perform an otoscopic examination

This post is going to describe how to perform an otoscopic examination of a patient, from start to finish. I’ll direct it from an audiologist’s point of view, but I am still an audiology student, and hence haven’t acquired a heap of experience yet. This is what is involved.

First up, you need to describe to the patient what you’re going to do. You don’t need to say anything in too much detail, it could just be ‘I’m just going to take a quick look in your ears, so just hold still for me’. For younger kids you can say ‘I’m going to see if I can see the inside of your ear!’ And for really young kids, you might want to get them sitting on the parents lap so just instruct the parents on how to hold them. For wriggly kids, get them sitting across the lap, get the parent to anchor the child’s head to their chest, and restrain the arms with their other hand, just so the child won’t be moving about whilst you’re inside their ear. Continue reading

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Anatomy of the inner ear

As I mentioned during my post on the anatomy of the outer and middle ears, I would be following up with a post on the anatomy of the inner ear. So today I will just try to give a bit of a summary on how the cochlea converts the vibrations of sound, to a message that can be interpreted by the brain.

The cochlea is like a long tube folded in half, and then coiled up with the folded end being the apex of the coil. This tube is filled with a fluid called perilymph. Continue reading