When a doctor wants to visualize the ear drum,he has to use an otoscope. It magnifies the view.With the nozzle like speculum, one can go very close to the ear drum.Flashing a torch over the ear does not give much information about the condition of the ear. If your doctor prescribes medication to your ear condition without using an otoscope to visualize the drum, it is better to take second opinion from a doctor who regularly uses an otoscope before you take that medicine.