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A doctor using a head mirror to illuminate his patient's nasal passages.

A head mirror is a simple diagnostic device, stereotypically worn by physicians.

A head mirror is (or was) mostly used for examination of the ear, nose & throat. It comprises a round, concave mirror, parabolic in cross section, with a small hole in the middle, and is attached to a head band. The mirror is worn over the physician's eye of choice, with the mirror facing outwards and the hole directly over the physician's eye.

In use, the patient sits and faces the physician. A bright lamp is positioned adjacent to the patient's head, pointing at the physician's face and hence towards the head mirror. The light from the lamp is reflected off the mirror, along the line of sight of the user, with the light being somewhat focused by the parabolic cross-section. When used properly, the head mirror thus provides excellent hands-free illumination, without any shadows.

Head mirrors have been considered a stereotypic part of a physician's uniform because they were once in common use, notably by general practitioners and otolaryngologists. The main drawback to head mirrors was that they took much experience to use well. They are currently in less use than before, as they have been largely replaced by pen lights among general practitioners, and by fibreoptic headlamps among otolaryngologists.

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