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If the instrument used to look inside the ear is not cleaned properly, an infection can be spread from one ear to the other.
Not all ear problems can be detected by looking through an otoscope. Additional ear and hearing tests may be needed.
Otoscopes sold for at-home use are lower quality than the ones used at the doctor's office. Parents may not be able to recognize some of the subtle signs of an ear problem. If there are symptoms of severe ear pain, hearing loss, dizziness, fever, ringing in the ears, or ear discharge or bleeding, see a health care provider.
Murr AH. Approach to the patient with nose, sinus, and ear disorders. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2007:chap 452.
Couch ME. History, physical examination, and the preoperative evaluation. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund VJ, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. 5th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 8.
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