Is my thermometer broken?

I dug out an old (20+ years?) in-the-ear thermometer the other day. It was dead but I happened to have a fresh battery and once I put that in it appeared to be functioning. I was able to find the original instructions online so I have been following them to a “t.” (Includes pulling one’s ear up and back so you can seat it deeper in the canal).

My first test result was about 95. My second was a little less. And so on. Must be broken, right? But when my spouse uses it her result is consistently in the 98-99 range. What gives? Should I trust it? Can a “healthy” person run that “cold?” If so, say my number increases to 98.6. Does that mean I have a fever?!?

[This might be better suited to IMHO]

No offense but ear wax will interfere with proper readings from an ear thermometer. If you were really at 95F you would be shivering.

Since you get a traditional reading on your wife, the thermometer is working.

You’ve established a baseline for yourself (possibly ear wax affected), so yes, 98.6 would mean you are quite sick (and I imagine you would know that without taking your temperature). If you called a doctor about it, I would report a 101 fever, since you are +/- three degrees over your ‘normal’.

A related bit of data, the new normal seems to be 97.5 degrees.

I ran into the same issue on my in-the-ear thermometer. Then ran into problems with my older mercury thermometer, which the fine people here helped me with. Thanks again to ftg.

My in-the-ear thermometer reads 95 most days. Apparently, the digitals do go bad with age. Good luck finding a replacement currently.

Or it’s broken and she’s running a really high fever.

No offense taken.

I actually do have occasional (monthly more-or-less, hour long) bouts of intense shivering. I will be addressing this with my physician.


Update: earlier today I had my temperature taken with a “forehead” thermometer (?)

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You might be a zombie or vampire or something.

Sorry… “97”
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Excellent news.

Yes, but what does that tell me about my home thermometer which continues to give me “low” readings and my wife “normal” readings?

I think we’re both stuck with thermometers that are no longer accurate. Does your wife feel warm BTW? It is possible she is running a low fever.

I ran the same test with my wife with our Braun and we both read low. While this Braun use to be reliable, it appears the in the ear style is not really recommended at this point.

Also a build up of Ear Wax could be a culprit.

Mine is so old, I can’t find useful troubleshooting for it. We think it is 23 years old now.

Could be ear wax, could be she’s pushing it in the ear differently, maybe?