What medical issues can be identified using a stethoscope?

Introduction

Stethoscope is very important equipment for any general physician. Now technology has  advanced a lot but still the use of stethoscope has not decreased by any means. Doctors who are expert in auscultation use stethoscope for treating various medical problems. Auscultation means  the act of hearing to the internal sounds of the body. In the medical field doctors spend lot of years to understand the meaning of each and every sound of the human body. The use of stethoscope involves knowing the usual sounds of the body. The word stethoscope has been derived from two Greek words namely stethos and scopos. Stethos means chest and scopos means to examine and the main function of the stethoscope is to examine the sounds of the internal body. It basically amplifies the internal sounds of the human body so that the doctors can listen to it carefully and understand the physical condition of a person. The internal sounds of your body can tell a lot of story about your physical condition.
Types of stethoscopes

When a doctor places a stethoscope on your heart he/she checks the sound of the heartbeat. Usually in a healthy body with each beat there will be two clicking sounds and hence if it is not so then your doctor will know there is some problem.
There are various types of stethoscopes which can be explained in details. The first one is the acoustic stethoscope and this is the most commonly used stethoscope. It has two ear pieces to listen to the sound, a chest piece which has a diaphragm on one side and a bell on the other side.
The earpieces and the chest piece are connected by a long pipe. Nowadays there is a new kind of stethoscope known as the electronic stethoscope. These stethoscopes have the ability to amplify the internal sounds of your body even more so that the doctors can clearly understand the problem. These stethoscopes are very advanced and are used by doctors nowadays.
The third type of stethoscope is more advanced and is known as noise reduction stethoscope. As the name suggests it cancels out the surrounding noise and amplifies only the internal sound of the human body. It actually has a noise filtering system and hence it is the most advanced stethoscope found nowadays. Stethoscope usage will never stop and doctors will believe in this treatment always. The main thing about treatment by stethoscope is that doctors get to know the problem without even doing any test.
Tests are to confirm the doubt of a doctor which arises when he/she listens to some abnormal sound in the stethoscope. A general physician will never suggest a patient to do all types of tests without checking him/her by the stethoscope. Using a stethoscope a doctor can understand whether a person is physically ill or not. The internal sounds are very important to hear as it will tell everything what a doctor needs to cure the patient.

Medical use of stethoscopes

With the help of a stethoscope, doctors can listen to and find irregular heartbeats in a patient’s heart. It may so happen that heart is having some extra beats or it may so happen that the heart is
missing some beats. By listening to those irregular sounds, doctors can claim that some problem is there in the heart and accordingly, they start for further investigations or treatment. Using a
stethoscope, doctors can also listen to some whooshing noises that may originate from the heart.
This type of noise is very significant as it may lead to irregular flow of blood in the heart valves. The pitch of the sound can be found in the stethoscope and from the level of that sound pitch,
one can estimate the actual problem of the heart valves. Identification of these irregular rhythms is very important as these problems can further lead to heart attack in the future. Doctors can also find any sign of heart failure by listening to those sounds.Whenever any person is found to be suffering from cough and cold, doctors use the stethoscope to see the level of cough congestion and also the place of congestion. It is vital to see whether the congestion is in the lungs or on the back and also it helps to identify if the cough is a dry one or cold one. After identification, doctor will proceed with the treatment. The acoustic stethoscopes are basically used to measure the blood pressure of a human body. Blood pressure is a very important element to understand the physical condition of the human body. If the blood pressure is not normal then a person can have serious problems like nausea, headache and many other things. Nowadays due to advancement of technology electronic stethoscope is also available in the market. The doctors who want to know the sounds of your arteries and veins can use these stethoscopes. Electronic stethoscopes are specially made to listen to the most delicate sounds of the human body. Using a stethoscope is very important and doctors are given a separate training for that. An inexperienced doctor will be little shaky to use a stethoscope than an experienced one. Hence a proper training is required. With the help of a stethoscope a doctor can understand the common problems. Outside the lungs there are various types of sounds like wheezes and crackling sounds. A crackling sound clearly indicates that the person has fluid in his/her lungs and hence the doctor will immediately give appropriate treatment for that. The best thing about a stethoscope is that one does not have to undergo any test or physical pain to know the basic problems. The stomach also makes various types of sounds for bowel movement. A doctor can use the stethoscope to listen to them and check whether they are working fine or not. Listening to the bowel sounds a doctor can understand whether it is working fast or slow. Slow movement of bowel clearly indicates constipation and fast movement indicates that the person might have inflammatory bowel disease.

Dr. Andi Neeson is a long time medical practitioner with years of medical practice and teaching under his belt and the owner of StethoscopeAdvisor.com

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