In coming up with the appropriate treatment to your hearing discomfort—whether to get a hearing aid, implants, etc.—one of the first things that your hearing care professional will do is to check your ear canal and look for possible obstructions such as earwax and any other foreign objects. Why? Because this can affect the accuracy of the succeeding hearing tests. In order to do this, a video otoscopy is done.
What is video otoscopy?
An otoscope is a device used by hearing care professionals that enables them to look closely inside of the ears of a patient. A video otoscope, on the other hand, is basically of the same essence, but with an added function of a fibre-optic camera. This feature enables you and your consultant to view your ear canal real-time, while the images are projected on a monitor.
Video otoscopes are made with fiber optics. These components convey a bright light that illuminates the ear canal of the patient. Also, it has a working channel, which serves as a guiding instrument to easily remove debris from a patient’s ear.
Why is it important to do a video otoscopy?
Being able to examine the ear closely can help diagnose possible hearing loss issues. Doing this can also give your consultant an idea on how to improve such problems accordingly.
To give you an idea, here are the common uses of video otoscopes:
- Check the level of wax buildup
- Check if there is an accumulation of fluid in the middle ear
- Check the ear canal from other possible infections and problems
- Diagnose tumors in the ear canal
- Check the condition of the eardrum, whether it is suffering from any infection
- Guide for instruments to clean the ears
How is a video otoscopy conducted?
The procedure to conducting a video otoscopy may vary from one clinic to another. But to give you a general sense of how hearing care professionals do it, take a look of the following guidelines:
Step 1: The medical provider selects an appropriate size of video otoscope speculum.
Step 2: Carefully, video otoscope is inserted up to the ear canal in a horizontal position.
Step 3: Patient and medical provider views the real-time image of the ear canal on the monitor.
Step 4: For reference and further assessment, images from the projection is captured.
Video otoscopy is basically conducted just like how a normal otoscopy is done. Although in some cases, patients are advised to anesthetise as the test is conducted deep within the ear canal, near the ear drums. Also, the fact that the ear canal is nearly connected to the throat makes irrigation flush at risk of getting into the lungs, which might cause issues such as pneumonia. In order to protect the airway from procedures such as ear irrigation, endotracheal tube is inserted.
What are the things that you need to know in order to prepare for video otoscopy?
These points can help you prepare if you’re planning to call your consultant for a video otoscopy:
- If your hearing care professional advises you to get anesthetised, expect that it will last up to 24 hours after the procedure.
- Topical or oral medications may be prescribed to prevent inflammation or any infection after the procedure.
The Listening Lab provides video otoscopy service. If you want to ensure that your hearing health is at its utmost wellness, book an appointment now with one of our expert hearing consultants. A few minutes of your time can make a long lasting impact to your hearing health! Contact our clinics through the following numbers: