Otoscopy

The audiologist will want to have a look in your ears to check that there’s no obvious obstruction or excess wax that might need removing, and to check that your ear canals and ear drums are healthy. This can be done in two ways. The more common way is to use a device called an otoscope – basically a small handheld torch that allows the clinician to get a clear view of your ear canals and eardrums.
An audiologist examining a patient's ear using an otoscope (Image © RNID)
If you are seen by an ENT doctor, however, they might use a special microscope to look in your ear. For this, you will need to sit in a large dentist type chair, or on an examination couch.
Both methods are usually free from discomfort and should take only a minute or so to carry out.
Otoscopy Summary
Where is the test done?
GP surgery,
Hospital audiology department
Hospital ENT department
Who carries out the test?
GP
Audiologist
ENT doctor
How long does the test take?
Less than a minute
Any discomfort/pain?
None
Results ready when?
Instantly
Special equipment used?
Otoscope
Risks/Complications?
None

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