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Ear exam using an otoscope

Otoscope in ear canal, showing location of eardrum and middle ear and detail of eardrum seen through otoscope.

An ear exam can find problems in the ear canal, eardrum, and the middle ear. During an ear exam, a tool called an otoscope is used to look at the outer ear canal and eardrum. The otoscope has a light, a magnifying lens, and a funnel-shaped viewing piece with a narrow, pointed end called a speculum.

Current as of: May 4, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor MD - Emergency Medicine
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine