Any ideas? Someone has to know this

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Enginerd42

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I was reading a thread on A.Word.A.Day (accessed from wordsmith.org) where someone posed the following question:

"The headband with the little reflecting circle doctors used to wear?"

I'm curious what these things were called and also what they were used for. The only response provided to the question was:

"No idea. I assumed it was just a head torch, and they were used because handheld torches were too cumbersome, and large overhead lights weren't powerful enough. Not used any more in the developed world. "

If anyone can come up with an explanation better than this one, I will bow to them. Any takers? :p

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Iwy Em Hotep

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You mean a head mirror? They're still used plenty in otolaryngology, when it's convenient to have a beam of light shining into a small opening right where you want to see.
 

Enginerd42

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That's what they're called, "head mirrors"? Come to think of it, I broke my nose last year and had to have surgery to reset it. I do vaguely remember (right before I was sent to happyland) that my otolaryngologist was wearing one of them. So that's it huh? They're supposed to direct the light at what you're looking at? I guess that makes sense.
 
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domukin

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I was wondering that myself, thanks for asking! :thumbup:
 

anystream

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domukin said:
I was wondering that myself, thanks for asking! :thumbup:

They are/were used to focus light from overhead lamps onto something the doctor wanted to see clearly, while keeping his hands free
 

tigress

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Yeah, when an ENT was trying to lance something that turned out not to be an abcess in my throat, he was wearing one of those things, and it looked exactly like the ones in the cartoons. My husband got a kick out of that :laugh:
 

Enginerd42

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OMG tigress! I hope you healed ok.
 

LJDHC05

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Enginerd42 said:
That's what they're called, "head mirrors"? Come to think of it, I broke my nose last year and had to have surgery to reset it. I do vaguely remember (right before I was sent to happyland) that my otolaryngologist was wearing one of them. So that's it huh? They're supposed to direct the light at what you're looking at? I guess that makes sense.

I shadow in an ORL (=ENT) clinic and there's one in every room, though only one of the docs actually uses them. We call them Head Lamps and they have a battery pack and a bulb, just like the ones you can buy from any outdoor store for camping (I have one for longer hikes so i can see the trail at night/reading before bed because my light switch is across the room from my bed and I'm too lazy to get out of bed when I'm ready to sleep...not because I'm an aspiring ORL doc). Some surgeons have similar devices.

BTW the responder must have been British, the only place that I've heard the word torch used other than in reference to a big peice of flaming wood is Britain.
 

tigress

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Enginerd42 said:
OMG tigress! I hope you healed ok.

Yeah, I'm fine. The experience taught me that doctors really don't know all that much. :laugh: Seriously, I had this white lump in the back of my throat and out of the four doctors who saw it (not to mention all of the nurses, PAs, etc.), not one knew what it was. So the ENT, being a good surgeon, decided "hey, let's try to stick a needle in it and see what happens!" lol...Nothing happened. Although the numbing stuff they sprayed in my mouth was supposed to taste like bananas and actually tasted like rotten garbage. So they just put me on steroids and antibiotics for a week and a half and it went away. End of story :p

(my husband I decided to call it the UPO...unidentified pharyngeal object :p)

(oh yeah, and they call a flashlight a "torch" in Australia and South Africa, too...I guess anywhere they speak more British-type than American-type English)
 
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