Tympanic Temperature Readings and Alternatives

In order to determine whether or not someone has a fever, it’s still important to get a temperature reading. People might experience chills and other signs of a fever, and these symptoms can point to a fever. However, a temperature reading will still be more definitive. There are many different ways to take a person’s temperature, and many different thermometers designed for this purpose.

It’s common to choose oral temperature readings. These temperature readings are easy to perform. Most people don’t mind putting a thermometer in their mouths briefly. However, there are some people who worry about whether or not it’s sanitary to take temperatures in this manner. In other cases, oral temperature readings will not be perfectly accurate. Different factors can interfere with an oral temperature reading, including issues related to oral hygiene. Still, an oral temperature reading can work when people are not able to take tympanic temperature readings or other temperature readings.

All tympanic temperature readings can be hugely useful. Getting a temperature reading from the ear canal will usually work well. People won’t have to wait as long for accurate results when they get temperature readings like that, which tends to make them more convenient. However, it should be noted that the results of a tympanic temperature reading will be relatively high compared with the results of any oral temperature reading. A tympanic temperature reading can be off by a full degree, in fact, which can mean the difference between a fever diagnosis and a clean bill of health.

Rectal temperature readings will have that same problem, and they will often be off by at least half a degree. However, tympanic temperature readings are much easier to take. It’s difficult to even insert a rectal thermometer safely in the first place, and difficult to get a person to sit still during the temperature reading. Tympanic temperature readings can be done much more casually, which helps explain their consistent popularity.