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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.