Many things in this world can be used for more than one thing. Take duct tape, for example. You can use it to fasten objects together or even fix ripped clothing. Or how about a paper clip — you can use that to hold a pile of papers together or even pick a lock if you’re resourceful enough.
But what about a stethoscope? The stethoscope is a medical device that allows doctors to listen to the lungs and heart. It’s essential in diagnosing abnormalities in the heart and lungs, which is why it’s something you typically see in hospitals and urgent care centers.
However, did you know that a stethoscope can also be used in many ways? To show you how here are some surprising things you can do with a stethoscope:
Measure blood pressure
Putting the earpiece of the stethoscope against your upper arm, use the diaphragm to listen to the blood flow in your arteries. If you hear whooshing sounds, that means your blood pressure is normal. Echoes or thumps suggest you have high blood pressure, while silence means low blood pressure.
Usually, there’s a different tool to do this, but it’s essential to know that you can also use a stethoscope for the same purpose. So, if you ever find yourself without the proper equipment, you can still check your blood pressure.
A stethoscope can be used to pick up on slight changes in your baby’s heart rhythm. That means you can use the stethoscope to check if you or someone else is pregnant. This is a fascinating use of the stethoscope, mainly because it’s not something you’d expect a stethoscope to be used for.
Of course, if you’re pregnant, it’s essential to see a doctor and get an ultrasound done. But if, for some reason, you can’t see a doctor right away, it’s good to know that you can still use a stethoscope to detect pregnancy.
Listen to bowel sounds
So far, this is the most surprising thing done with a stethoscope! It’s not commonly known, but you can hear the bowel moving in your gut when you listen through the stethoscope. You don’t have to listen too closely or put the stethoscope in just the right place to hear bowel sounds.
This is an important thing to know because often, it helps your doctor determine if your bowel is healthy or not. Suppose you have to see the doctor for something unrelated, but the stethoscope was used to diagnose bowel issues. Your doctor can then use that information to help diagnose other conditions.
Detect lung issues
Have you ever been diagnosed with pneumonia or a lung problem in the past? A stethoscope can help detect if you have it again. You can use the stethoscope to listen for abnormal sounds in your lungs that can point out abnormalities.
This is particularly useful if you have a condition that impacts your lungs, like asthma or a condition that causes lung scarring. If you have to see the doctor, but it’s been a while since your last diagnosis, this is again one way you can do it yourself.
Detect blood circulation problems
Did you know that a stethoscope can also be used to listen for circulation issues? You can do it by placing the stethoscope on different parts of your body to listen for blood flow. If you hear thumping sounds, that usually means an issue with the blood flow. It could be a sign of blocked arteries or other cardiovascular problems.
This is important because, depending on the issue, it’s possible to hear circulation problems even before you feel anything. That means if you ever find yourself with heart issues or cardiovascular issues, you can detect it early when it’s still treatable.
Why should you own a stethoscope?
There are a lot of other things that people use stethoscopes for. You can hear lung sounds and heart sounds and even measure the strength of a pulse. It’s not just for doctors and nurses because anyone can use it to determine what’s going on with their body.
Of course, it’s still essential to get professional advice and not just rely on your listening skills or knowledge of what you’re supposed to be hearing. If you suspect that something is wrong, it’s essential to see a doctor and get a diagnosis.
However, if you have a stethoscope at home, you now know that it’s good for more than just listening to your heart and lungs. So don’t be afraid to stick those earpieces in your ears and really listen!