||The addition of magnification allows a more accurate inspection and assessment of the ear to be carried out. The binocular operating microscope currently represents the state of the art, since it incorporates both variable magnification and stereoscopic (threedimensional) vision while freeing both of the examiner's hands for instrumentation and manipulation within the ear canal. Unfortunately, the operating microscope is a large and relatively expensive instrument‑, its use is generally restricted to the specialist in the clinic, consulting room or operating theatre.
Over the past century, a succession of portable otoscopes (auriscopes) incorporating battery powered electric bulbs have been introduced and the electric otoscope is nowadays by far the most commonly used instrument for examination of the ear.
These small and portable otoscopes are easy to use and convenient, although manipulation of the ear through the otoscope head is somewhat limited and technically more difficult.