Stethoscopes are undoubtedly one of the most widely recognised symbols of medicine worn around the necks of most of the doctors. It is quite intriguing that right from the erstwhile days to the modern age, stethoscopes have remained an indispensable part of the medical world. But have you ever thought of what the professionals actually listen to? The stethoscope is mainly designed to listen to the heart and lungs as well as bowels and blood flow in the other parts of the body.
The stethoscopes comprise of Y-shaped rubber tubing that allow the sounds to enter at one end and be heard through the earpieces at the other end. In fact, there are many modern stethoscopes that have two-sided sound detecting head which can be reversed allowing the high or low frequencies to be heard depending on which side it is used.
Here are some of the sounds that doctors try to listen to with the help of the stethoscopes. Just read on to know.
Wheezes and Crackles – At the time of examining the lungs with a stethoscope, a doctor will listen for wheezes and crackles. At the time when the airways are constricted, wheezes occur but when there is fluid in the lungs, crackles are created. In case of normal lungs, these sounds should not be present.
The patient breathes slowly in and out as the stethoscope is placed over the lungs. For comprehensive understanding, this is repeated with the stethoscope being positioned on different parts of the chest.
Whooshes and Lub-dubs – Listening to the lungs requires a different set of hearing skills as opposed to listening to the heart. Normal heart sounds are often described as the “lub-dub” sounds of the heart. The normal sounds of the heart are caused by the normal beating of the heart.
At times, the “whooshing” sounds that are called the heart murmurs are heard.These are caused by the irregularities in the blood-flow through the heart. These may be faint or loud so much so that they are scarcely audible. Though the heart murmur can be a problem that requires treatment, but most of the time these murmurs are harmless and cause no problems.
– The doctors often use the stethoscope for listening to the gurgling sound of the abdomen that represents the bowel movement. These are called borborygmi that are completely normal. They are actually produced by the movement of gas and food and this goes without saying that you do not have to worry about anything.
The above are some of the most common sounds that are detected by the stethoscope. All these sounds help the body to detect any problems in existing your body and treat them in the correct way.
There are absolutely no risk involved in the usage of Littmann stethoscope and the best part is that it is completely painless. It offers valuable information that assists to confirm the normal body functions or to treat a particular problem that persists in your body. This is the reason why stethoscopes have become an imperative tool in the medical industry since the early days.