Do you want to know what a stethoscope is and what are its different types? This post will tell you about everything!
What is a stethoscope?
A stethoscope is auditory medical equipment used to listen to internal body sounds of a person or animal. With a stethoscope, it is viable to listen to sounds of intestines, heart, blood flow in veins and arteries, as well as breathing. It is the primary diagnostic equipment for healthcare providers and is as important as carrying any other medical device.
There are different types of stethoscopes available based on their speciality, functionality, and construction. So, let’s check the various types available!
Types of Stethoscopes Based on Functionality
- Acoustic Stethoscope
An acoustic stethoscope is a basic stethoscope that is used by most of the people. It transmits sounds from the various body parts like lungs, heart, and abdomen to the ear tips of the listener through its hollow tubes. One disadvantage of the acoustic stethoscope is that they have a low volume. For this reason, the person has to listen carefully in order to listen to body sounds. As a result, most people avoid using such stethoscopes if they work in too noisy situations.
- Electronic Stethoscope
While the basic functionality of such stethoscopes is the same as that of acoustic stethoscopes, the main difference is that they amplify the sound electronically. Such stethoscopes are also known as stethophone. It is a wireless device that can record sounds and has numerous exclusive features, which an acoustic stethoscope cannot deliver. This form of the stethoscope can reduce ambient noise completely and hence enhances the overall sound listening experience. Check out a pretty comprehensive list of best stethoscopes provided by BestRatedDocs.com here.
Types of Stethoscopes Based on Construction
- Single Head Stethoscope
Such stethoscopes are straightforward and allow the user to tune into a wide range of sounds. These stethoscopes come with an adjustable diaphragm the makes it possible to check the sounds of heart, lungs, and stomach.
These stethoscopes are usually preferred by cardiologists or those who frequently have to deal with various cardiovascular diseases. It is because this stethoscope offers more detailed and clear auscultation.
- Dual – Head Stethoscope
The dual-head stethoscopes are more versatile than single head stethoscopes. These stethoscopes feature a diaphragm and bell and are ideal for diagnosing patients of all ages.
There are some stethoscopes that do not come with a bell, but they are equipped with two diaphragms of different sizes. Some doctors find such stethoscopes better as it enables them to diagnose bigger organs properly and get a basic idea of how everything is working. The smaller diaphragms are ideal to zone in sounds and listen to them more attentively.
Types of Stethoscopes based on Specialty
- Infant Stethoscopes
Such stethoscopes are used by doctors and nurses dealing with infant patients. These stethoscopes are characterized by a small size Chestpiece that eliminates all sorts of ambient noise. This makes it possible for doctors to listen to hear the sounds of the baby carefully.
- Pediatric Stethoscopes
Such stethoscopes are for all purposes and intents similar to infant stethoscope. But they have a much bigger size Chestpiece. It is because the patients are no more small babies, but are grownups. Since the patients are now larger in size, so these stethoscopes come with a bigger diaphragm that helps the doctor to listen to low-frequency sounds with ease.
- Doppler Stethoscopes
These are electronic stethoscopes that measure the Doppler effect of the ultrasound waves. The body organs reflect Doppler waves, which are monitored using this stethoscope. Such stethoscopes are best to use to monitor moving objects within the body, like heart and other body organs.
Such stethoscopes appear similar to a regular stethoscope, but they have more powerful acoustic sound quality. It allows hearing low, and high frequency sounds with ease and more clearly. It allows to clearly hearing the faintest sounds such as rubs and clicks. Using this stethoscope would ensure that you don’t miss even the most subtle or murmur sound. Even the earpieces of this stethoscope are more comfortable and thicker, obstructing the ambient noise to the fullest.
- Veterinary Stethoscopes
To better diagnose animals it is essential for doctors to use veterinary stethoscopes. Such stethoscopes allow you to listen to body sounds from feral or nervous animals. These stethoscopes come with a tunable diaphragm that enables to adjust the sound levels with just a flick of a switch, making the transition between low and high sounds more easily.
Importance of Different Types of Stethoscopes
The medical profession involves different disciplines. This leads to the requirement of more specialized stethoscopes. From experienced students, doctors, cardiologists, to other experts, everyone requires a stethoscope to conduct the diagnosis. With specialized stethoscopes, it is possible to conduct the examination more precisely and better diagnose the patient for various diseases in the body.