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Fever is one of the most common symptoms of infectious diseases and inflammatory ailments. Thermometers are usually present in most households. However, if you don’t have a digital thermometer in your house or have the old mercury-based thermometer, it is time to buy or upgrade.

Mercury thermometers are not using any more for many reasons. Firstly, mercury is a toxic heavy metal that is harmful to the environment. Mercury thermometers are readily breakable, worst of all they are difficult to use. Some people find it difficult to read the results of old mercury-based thermometers.

Benefits of a Digital Thermometer

Latest digital thermometers do not contain mercury. Instead, they have electronic sensors. Thus they are more precise. Digital thermometer has easy to read displays. Further, they are safe to use not only in the oral cavity but also in the armpit or anal cavity (rectum). Also they are easy to clean or sterilize.

Getting the reading or body temperature from armpit is a comfortable and hygienic way. However, armpit is also less precise location. Mouth cavity and anal cavities (rectum) are comparatively accurate, but unhygienic/unpleasant methods.

There are two highly precise and modern solutions for measuring body temperature. These are Ear thermometers and non-contact forehead thermometers.

Ear thermometer is one of the most precise ways to measure body temperature, though it involves some degree of body contact, it is still hygienic enough method.

Non-Contact Forehead thermometer is perhaps the most hygienic way to measure body temperature. Nowadays it is the method of choice in clinical conditions, as the equipment does not require sterilization. This is point and shoot device, that can measure the temperature in seconds. It is pointed towards the forehead to measure the body temperature.

Omron Non-Contact Forehead thermometer is most hygiene way to measure temperature and has three operating modes. It can tell room temperature, forehead temperature, and calculated or corrected oral cavity temperature. Being non-contact means that no-discomfort, completely hygienic, can be used in any age, can be even used in a sleeping person or a child. However, it is one of the less accurate ways to measure temperature (though accurate enough for clinical use).

Appreciating the fever

It is essential to understand that the fever is not a disease instead a defensive reaction of our body. Thus the fever tells us that our immunity is fighting the infection well. Body elevates the temperature in a controlled manner to improve the supply of various nutrients, to increase the blood flow. Higher body temperature is also inhibitory for growth of various bacterial infections. However, sometimes body temperature gets out of control and becomes more harmful than beneficial.

Further, the temperature can also help doctors in the diagnosis of diseases. Its acuteness, severity, pattern, can say lots about the condition. Thus in malaria, there are periods of high fever followed by periods or comparative relief, while in flu fever is continually elevated for few days along with severe muscular aches.

Whatever be the temperature, vital is to monitor it, keep the records, as it may indeed help the physician to diagnose the condition. One should be careful in suppressing the moderate fever without advice from a physician.

Thus for an accurate measure of body temperature, buy one of the digital thermometer mentioned above. If you have the mercury-based thermometer, it would be a good idea to replace it with a digital one.

Reviewed by Dr. Preet Pal Singh Bhinder