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How Do I Choose the Best Otoscope Set?

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  • Written By: Andrew Kirmayer
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2016
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Otoscopes are small, illuminated medical instruments that are typically used to examine the eyes and ears, as well as nose and throat. There are a variety to choose from; the best otoscope set can be a challenge to find, especially for a beginning student in the medical field. It is usually helpful to set a budget and not only go by the price of the set to determine what is best. You should generally be aware of the specifications when shopping for an otoscope kit as well. Energy efficiency and the type of bulb in the unit are also factors you can look for.

Higher priced products sometimes are the ones with better quality. With an otoscope set, however, costs are often higher for newer models and those from well-known brands. Instruments that are imported from overseas or even another city or state may also cost more. A generic model often works the same way and can cost a fraction of something very similar. Otoscopes are many times sold along with opthalmoscope sets, and purchasing the combination can also save on costs.

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You should generally not settle on the first new otoscope set on the shelf. When you budget accordingly, then you can start looking around. The product specifications are usually the best place to look to determine quality, but can sometimes be misleading. Look for details on the brightness of the light, the strength of the unit’s magnifying lens, and other technical features. If the quality of the casing and the handle coating are emphasized more, then the device is probably being marketed at a higher price than it should be.

An otoscope set with instruments that will last long is typically the best choice as well. Check for battery life as well as the life expectancy of the bulb. Halogen bulbs generally burn out frequently and are expensive to replace. Many otoscopes have light emitting diode (LED) bulbs that not only last a long time, but can withstand the force of the instrument being dropped. The light is generally brighter and provides a full spectrum of illumination to see during an examination.

There are often websites online where you can review each otoscope set. The best one for you can sometimes be determined based on who reviewed the product. If you’re a medical student or a physician, reading a review by someone in a similar field or level of study can help a great deal.

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