The Real Reason Doctors Look In Your Ear

You may have wondered why your physician takes a look inside your ears when you go for a checkup. As you might guess, the reason is that he or she is looking for signs of something amiss that might affect your hearing or overall health. 

Ordinarily, your doctor uses a tool called an otoscope to look inside your ear (via University of Michigan Health). The small handheld device has a light and a magnifying lens on one end. Some otoscopes also feature a rubber ball, which allows the doctor to send a puff of air into your ear to observe how well your eardrum is working. Your doctor will examine your inner ear, middle ear, and outer ear during a checkup. To get a good look at what is going on inside and outside your ear, he or she may ask you to tilt your head to one side while tugging on the top of your ear (via University of California San Francisco).

What your doctor looks for while checking your ears

Most of the time, your physician is looking for fluid inside the ear, which is a sign of infection (via University of California San Francisco). He or she can also tell if your eardrum is irritated or if your ear canal is swollen. Of course, they can also see if you have a buildup of earwax that could be causing you any problems. Your doctor will also notice any unusual lumps or discharge (via University of Michigan Health). Believe it or not, you could even have a small object in your ear that could be causing you to have discomfort or trouble hearing. While children are more prone to put things in their ears, adults can get part of a cotton swab, a mass of earwax, or even a bug stuck in their ears (via MedicineNet). Whatever it may be, your doctor will be able to identify the object and remove it safely.