How should you measure with an ear thermometer?

An ear measurement is a quick and practical way to check for fever. For this you use a ear thermometer. The measurement is very accurate as the ear is closer to the brain, where the large veins supply the hypothalamus with blood, which is precisely the system by which the body regulates its temperature. Fluctuations in body temperature can therefore be noticed more quickly here than in other parts of the body.

For example, the measurement via the mouth can be influenced by the temperature of food and drink, the measurement under the armpit often turns out to be a lot lower than the effective core temperature and the measurement via the anus is less comfortable. Hence, measurement via the ear is often preferred.


What should one pay attention to when measuring the temperature via the ear?

Before starting the measurement, it is important to check that the measuring sensor is not damaged or dirty. It is also necessary that the ear canal is clean, since it can happen that if, for example, earwax is present, the sensor is aimed at this during the measurement and therefore cannot perform a correct measurement.

An erroneous reading can also occur if the sensor is not accurately aimed at the eardrum. The ear canal is not completely straight but has two bends. If the thermometer tilted instead of straight into the ear, the sensor will be aimed at the skin. Its temperature can be about 2 degrees Celsius lower than the exact core temperature of the body. The same happens when the thermometer is not placed deep enough in the ear. It is therefore important when taking a measurement that the ear thermometer is placed correctly in the ear: not tilted and far enough. Only with that you can reliable measurement to get.

Finally, the ambient temperature in the place where the infrared ear thermometer is stored can also influence the measurement. It is therefore recommended to store the thermometer in a place where it is only exposed to room temperature. If it is noticed that the thermometer was in a colder or warmer place before the measurement than the temperature at the time of measurement, it is recommended to first give the thermometer half an hour to acclimatize. It is best to wait fifteen minutes between two measurements so that the ear thermometer has time to return to room temperature.


Measuring with the dominant hand

Comparative research has shown that measurements taken with the dominant hand were slightly more accurate than those taken with the other hand. Left-handers therefore take the thermometer in the left hand, and right-handers take it in the right hand. Also take the measurement in the ear on that side. So left-handers measure in the left ear while right-handers measure on the other side. During the measurement, the pinna can be gently pulled up and back, so that the sensor can better focus on the eardrum. For children under one year, it is best to only pull slightly backwards and not upwards.

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