Buying a Pocket Otoscope? Key Consideration to Students Prior to Purchase

An otoscope is a tool routinely used in audiology practice.  It represents one of the first investments students will make. Most students tend to buy pocket otoscopes since these typically represent the least expensive option, however, prices will vary and it’s important to know what you are paying for so you can spend your money wisely.  Pocket otoscopes are available in both non fiber optic and fiber optic models.  Non fiber optic otoscopes  provide illumination directly via the bulb.  In contrast, fiber optic otoscopes transmit light via a small bundle of optical fibers. The easiest way to tell whether a pocket otoscope is non fiber optic versus fiber optic is to look at the eye piece of the magnifying lens.  Non fiber optic otoscopes have the bulb residing on the floor of the visual field (top image on the right) whereas fiber optic otoscopes have the bulb positioned beneath the floor (bottom image on the right). The immediate advantage of a fiber optic pocket otoscope is that it offers a completely unobstructed view of the ear canal and tympanic membrane. Certainly, you don’t get something for nothing…a fiber optic pocket otoscope will cost about $100 more than a non fiber optic pocket otoscope.

About AU Bankaitis

A.U. Bankaitis, PhD is a clinical Audiologist with extensive clinical, research, and business experience within the hearing industry. Dr. Bankaitis created this blog to educate her colleagues on viable product solutions for their patients and/or clinical practice.
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