Ear thermometers are used to measure the body temperature by taking the eardrum temperature. It is a very accurate way to determine the body temperature because the ear drum is indented inside the head like your tongue. But the eardrum is very fragile. Care must be exercised while measuring the temperature via ear thermometers. These thermometers use infra-red radiations to measure the temperature. The reason behind using infra-red technology is to create an equipment that can detect even minor changes in infra-red radiations. These readings are then converted to temperature format and displayed on the screen. Digital ear thermometers or the tympanic thermometers are designed to take temperature from inside the ear canal. They are quick and are safe to use even for small children (older than 6 months), pets or adults. They are more comfortable than the rectal thermometers and oral thermometers.
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Digital Ear Thermometers measure infrared energy radiated from the eardrum and the surrounding tissue. This energy is collected by the lens and converted to the correct temperature value.
Yes, the probe of ear thermometers is too short to reach the eardrum. The ear canal of babies and small children is smaller than the probe of the thermometer so it cannot reach the sensitive parts of the ear.
No, Ear thermometers does not send out any waves or heat at any time. It only acts as a receiver of heat. If the ear is inflamed or an ear infection is present, it is recommended the measurement be taken in the other ear or a standard digital thermometer should be used orally, underarm or rectally is appropriate.
Generally, there are no significant differences in ear temperatures. It is recommended to use the ear that that gives you a higher reading.
Temperature can vary slightly between left and right ear because of the amounts of dirt or earwax present or due to individual variations.
The position of the probe tip during measurement can have an influence on the results. It is very important to straighten the ear canal and insert the probe tip comfortably and completely in the ear canal to ensure accuracy.
Small amounts of ear wax are no problem as they transmit the temperature radiation but large amounts may cause inaccurate readings.