What Is Auscultation?

What Is Auscultation?

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Did you know why the doctor uses a stethoscope? Well, they do it to listen to the sounds inside the body. In medical terms, this very process is called auscultation and it’s done to diagnose patients better. During this process, sounds from the lungs, heart and abdomen are listened to for further rounds of tests. Based on the sounds, people are recommended for additional tests for a diagnosis. In a sense, auscultation is a simple test that has no side effects and it forms the basis of accurate diagnosis of patients.

Here are some of the things to know about auscultation –

  • Auscultation carries no risks or side effects and doctors generally do this test for diagnostic purposes
  • It’s a test to listen to different sounds to know what’s happening inside of the body
  • The stethoscope used in the process may produce abnormal sounds which may mean some problem inside the body
  • The test helps doctors find out an irregular heartbeat
  • It’s also helpful in locating some of the problems related to the digestive tract
  • The device is helpful in informing medics about any fluid or phlegm buildup in the lungs
  • The test is performed in an easy manner with the doctor placing the littmann stethoscope over the bare skin and listening to each area of the body
  • While listening to the heart, the device is placed to the four regions having the loudest heart valve sounds
  • In general, the device is placed on the chest areas above and slightly below of the left breast to hear heart sounds
  • It’s not uncommon to see doctors asking the patients to be turned towards the left side to get the most accurate heart sounds
  • The stethoscope helps listen to the loudness of the sound, frequency of each sound and nature of heart sounds
  • Bowel sounds are listened to by placing the device on to one or more regions of the abdomen in a separate manner
  • While testing the abdomen, the doctor may hear either swishing or gurgling, and in some cases, no sound at all
  • Each sound indicates what is going on in the intestines and whether the organ is functioning properly
  • The doctor will compare the sounds from one side of the lungs with the other for diagnostic purposes
  • It’s also common for the test to seek comparison of sounds between the back and front of the chest
  • While testing the lungs, the doctor will try to listen to normal airflow sounds in airways
  • In cases where the airways are blocked or narrowed, the sounds will be different
  • The airways filled with fluid often produce sounds that are a bit different to the standard one
  • The device is also used to listen to abnormal sounds such as wheezing during the checking of the lungs
  • High-quality stethoscopes come with sound reduction and sound amplification features to help doctors listen to abnormalities with clarity
  • It’s also possible for medics to use just one device and hear body sounds in adults and pediatrics alike in a smooth manner

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