Oral, Ear, and Infrared Thermometers

Before 2020, I bet most people rarely ever had their temperature taken and when they did it was most likely with a normal oral thermometer. Since covd-19, the use of thermometers have risen astronomically to the point they were even hard to locate for purchase at times last year. This blog will compare and contrast three types of thermometers meant to read body heat. These three types are the oral thermometer, the ear thermometer, and the newer infrared thermometer. The products linked in this article are from ILA. Each of these linked products have talking components to them making them essential for persons who are visually impaired that want to be able to take and know anyone’s temperature.

Oral Thermometers

A digital thermometer is used to take an oral temperature. It is a small hand-held device with a “window” showing your temperature in numbers. There are many kinds of digital thermometers. Most digital thermometers are easy to use and measure body temperature within seconds. Carefully read the instructions before using your digital thermometer.

The average oral temperature reading is 98.6°F (37°C). However, any oral temperature from 97°F (36.1°C) to 99°F (37.2°C) is considered typical. Some people run naturally cool, and others slightly warmer. It is a good idea to know what your temperature typically is so you can assess whether you are running a fever when you feel sick.

Benefits

  • Oral thermometers are most accurate in children over 3 and in adults.

Drawbacks

  • Small children and people with breathing issues may not be able to keep their mouths closed long enough to acquire an accurate reading.

ILA offers this Talking Oral Thermometer for sale. It is a talking bi-lingual (English and Spanish) oral medical thermometer and it delivers spoken results in 8 seconds in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Information in this section came from How to Take an Oral Temperature and Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Types of Thermometers.

Ear Thermometers

Remote ear thermometers, also called tympanic thermometers, use an infrared ray to measure the temperature inside the ear canal. Tympanic readings are 0.5°F (0.3°C) to 1°F (0.6°C) higher than oral temperature readings.

Benefits

  • Tympanic thermometers provide fast and accurate readings and may be preferable to oral or rectal thermometers, especially in children.
  • When positioned properly, infrared ear thermometers are quick and generally comfortable for children and adults.
  • Infrared ear thermometers are appropriate for infants older than age 6 months, older children and adults.

Drawbacks

  • Due to the size of the ear canal, tympanic thermometers are not recommended for infants under 6 months old.
  • They must be positioned properly in order to get accurate results.
  • Obstructions like earwax may skew results.
  • They may not fit properly in a small or curved ear canal.

ILA is proud to offer this Talking Ear Thermometer for sale. It allows the user to easily take a body temperature without needing to put anything in the mouth. In just 5 seconds the temperature is ready and spoken aloud in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Information in this section came from How to Take an Oral Temperature and Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Types of Thermometers.

Infrared Thermometers

If you prefer a non-invasive means to determine someone’s temperature the non-contact Infrared Thermometer (NCIT) is the way to go. NCITs may be used to reduce cross-contamination risk and minimize the risk of spreading disease. Before NCITs are used, it is important to understand the benefits, limitations, and proper use of these thermometers. Improper use of NCITs may lead to inaccurate measurements of temperature.

Benefits of NCITs

  • Non-contact approach may reduce the risk of spreading disease between people being evaluated
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean and disinfect
  • Measures temperature and displays a reading rapidly
  • Provides ability to retake a temperature quickly

Limitations of NCITs

  • How and where the NCIT is used may affect the measurement (for example, head covers, environment, positioning on forehead).
  • The close distance required to properly take a person’s temperature represents a risk of spreading disease between the person using the device and the person being evaluated.

ILA is proud to have this Talking Infrared Thermometer for sale. It speaks the readout in either English or Spanish and can be turned on or off with voice control. Information in this section came from the FDA article entitled Non-contact Infrared Thermometers.

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February is Age Related Macular Degeneration Month

February is National Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #SightMatters and by visiting sightmatters.com. Information in this blog comes from the home page of Prevent Blindness as well as their articles about Eye Diseases & Conditions AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration), Eye Diseases & Conditions Dry Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and a comprehensive article from VisionAware entitled February is Age Related Macular Degeneration Month: Lower Your Risk of Vision Loss.

What is AMD?

Age-related Macular Degeneration, commonly referred to as AMD, affects an estimated 1.8 million Americans aged 40 years and older and an additional 7.3 million with large drusen are at substantial risk of developing AMD. The number of people with AMD was estimated to reach 2.95 million in 2020. AMD if left untreated is the leading cause of permanent impairment of reading and fine or close-up vision among people aged 65 years and older.

AMD affects part of the back of the eye called the macula, which is the central part of the retina (the “film” lining the inside the eye). When AMD damages the macula, the center part of a person’s vision may become blurred or wavy, and a blind spot may develop. AMD can cause vision loss quickly or slowly and can make it very hard to do things that require sharp central vision, such as reading, crafts, cooking, driving, or recognizing faces; it can also make it difficult to see in dim light. The good news is that AMD almost never causes total blindness, since it usually does not hurt side (peripheral) vision.

The Two Types of AMD

There are two kinds of AMD – dry and wet. The most common form of AMD is dry AMD, of which 85-90 percent of AMD patients are diagnosed. Dry AMD is caused by the appearance of small yellow deposits called drusen, which form under the retina. These are accumulated waste products of the retina, which can grow in size. This can cause the retinal cells in the macula that process light to die, causing vision to become blurred. This form of the disease usually worsens slowly. There are three stages to dry AMD, early, intermediate, and advanced.

The key to slowing or preventing vision loss from dry AMD is regular eye exams. People age 50 or older should get a complete eye exam and follow-up with eye exams every one or two years or as indicated by the eye doctor. It is important to attend all scheduled eye exams even if there are no noticeable vision problems.

There may be no symptoms until the disease progresses or affects both eyes. Vision changes due to dry AMD can include:

  • Difficulty seeing in the center of your vision, which is needed for reading, crafts, cooking, recognizing faces, and driving
  • Trouble seeing in dim light
  • Straight lines start to appear wavy, blurry or missing
  • Fading and/or changes in the appearance of colors

Wet AMD, also known as neovascular AMD, generally causes more rapid and more serious vision loss if left untreated. In this form of the disease, people with the intermediate stage of dry AMD or with the advanced stage of dry AMD develop tiny new blood vessels and scar tissue which grow under and into the retina. These blood vessels are fragile and often break and leak, which, along with scarring of the retina, can cause a loss of vision. Wet AMD may be treated with various treatments.

GuideMe is a resource for those who have been recently diagnosed with an eye disease, their family members and caregivers.

Reduce Your Risks

In addition to scheduling a comprehensive eye exam with an ophthalmologist who can help you reduce the risks of vision loss there are other things that can be done to help mitigate your risk for AMD.

According to ophthalmologist and American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) spokesperson Rahul Khurana, MD., here is what you need to know:

1. AMD may develop silently, with no early symptoms. In the earliest stages of AMD, you may not notice any changes to your eyes or vision. The AAO urges adults with no symptoms to have an eye exam at least by age 40, even if you do not wear glasses or contacts. After age 65, it is recommended to get an exam every one to two years. If you notice problems with your eyesight or have eye discomfort, see an ophthalmologist right away. Early diagnosis enables timely treatment which can preserve vision.

2. Family history shapes your risk of AMD. Talk to your family to learn about their eye health. If a close family member has AMD, you have a greater risk of getting the disease. Let your doctor know about any family history of AMD so you can improve your chances of early detection and treatment. 

3. Treatments for macular degeneration are more effective than ever. Fifteen years ago, wet AMD often caused blindness and there was no treatment for it. While there is still no treatment for dry AMD, now there are sight-saving treatments for wet AMD. With the use of anti-VEGF drugs, fewer people are going blind. And in the future, treatments like stem cell therapy may make it possible to prevent vision loss from AMD.

4. Vitamins can slow AMD (but not in all cases). If you have AMD, you may have heard that the AREDS 2 vitamin formula can help slow the disease. Clinical trials show that these vitamins for AMD can help with intermediate or advanced AMD in one eye. Trials have not shown that they prevent AMD in people who do not have the disease. Ask your eye doctor which vitamin formula is right for you.

5. Smoking increases your risk of macular degeneration. Many studies have found that smoking cigarettes can increase risk of AMD. Smoking also increases the speed at which the disease worsens. If you smoke, you are twice as likely to get AMD compared with a nonsmoker. The good news is that stopping smoking is the best action you can take to lower your risk of AMD. People who quit smoking 20 years ago have the same risk of AMD as people who have never smoked.

6. Daily vision checking at home is effective at monitoring AMD progression. The Amsler grid is a simple chart that people with dry AMD can use at home to check for changes in their vision. All you do is look at it once every day! Learn how to use the Amsler grid to track progression and risk of AMD-related vision loss. 

7. Eating certain foods may cut your risk of macular degeneration. Studies have shown that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are good for eye health. Studies link eating these foods with a reduced risk of AMD — but not when taken as supplements. Other nutrients that help eye health include lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and vitamin C.

To help cut AMD risk and maintain eye health, eat foods such as: cold-water fish (salmon and tuna), citrus fruits, kale, spinach, corn, broccoli, squash, and black-eyed peas.

8. Exercise can help protect your vision as you age. Many studies show getting regular exercise can benefit your eyes. One study found that exercising three times a week reduced the risk of getting wet AMD by 70%. Studies also show that exercise reduces the risk of all stages of AMD.

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Dating with a Visual Impairment

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. This brings up visions of flowers, chocolates, love notes, and of course dating. When you have a visual impairment dating can be even more daunting than it is for a sighted person. The uncertainties can be vast. This blog will look at some tips and tricks for dating with a visual impairment. Information for this blog came from Dating 101 for People with Vision Loss, Tips For Dating for People New to Visual Impairment, and 10 things to learn about dating a blind person.

Having and Maintaining a Love Life

Navigating the twenty-first century dating scene is stress-inducing for most singles. Learning how to interact, make friends and date can be quite different when you have a visual impairment. For example, commuting to the location for the date might be different now. Or once you have arrived locating the person in the room or restaurant. Although you have lost vision it does not mean that your love life is over and that you should stop socializing. There are ways to get out and engage with others to meet that special someone or just have a good time on a casual date.

Hints for Getting Back in the Dating Game

Tip 1: When meeting a new person you are interested in dating give them your cell number not your home number. This is a good safety precaution because home numbers can be traced to your home address. A cell number gives you some level of privacy and can keep you in better control of the situation. Until you really get to know the person lean on the side of caution. In lieu of a cell number, some have given out an email address instead. You can create an anonymous address with a free provider such as Yahoo, Hot Mail or Google.

Tip 2: Play an active role in setting up the date. Do not let the person you are seeing do all the work. Suggest a great restaurant or movie you would like to see. This is also a good way to be sure that your needs as a visually impaired person are met. For example, suggest places to go that are on public transportation so that you can get there independently. Recommend movie theatres that have audio description so that you can enjoy the movie too. Propose a restaurant that provides readable menus in Braille/large print and understands how to work with the blind.

Tip 3: Let friends and/or family know you are going out with a new person. Once you have met someone you are interested in and have set up the date night; let someone you trust know. This is a safety precaution. That way if things go bad on the date people who love and care about you will know what is going on.

Tip 4: Be prepared to have a conversation about your visual impairment. This can be a bit tricky especially on a first date. Go with your intuition as to how much you want to disclose at one time. I would discourage giving an extensive history on your vision loss. Just keep things light and simple. Be positive and share how independent you are.

Visually Impaired Persons’ Advice on Dating Them

There is a lot of unseen stuff that folks notice that shapes their attraction to someone new. Smells, the ones we cultivate or the ones we do not even realize we have, are a big part of that. If someone has strong body odor smelling of sweat, beer, or unbrushed teeth chances are they will not make a good first impression.

Like scent, the sound of a potential partner can go a long way to affecting how attracted a person will be to them. It is more than the timbre of a voice; it is everything from the sound of their breathing to their chewing to what their shoes sound like when they walk. Word choices and volume are key, too.

Do not write off activities like going to movies or the theater. There are apps and tools for that. Going to the movies or a play are time-honored dating activities. Those do not have to be off-limits because you are dating someone with a visual impairment. Lots of movie theaters are equipped with audio descriptions so that moviegoers can fill in the gaps for scenes without dialogue or narration.

Do not diminish the relationship between a blind person and their guide dog. For a relationship between a person and their service animal to work, they both need to trust each other implicitly. Potential partners need to be comfortable with always having a third (four-legged) wheel around and not distracting the service animal from their important daily duties.

They do not need a savior or a servant. Having a partner who is helpful can be wonderful but not when it comes at the expense of being self-reliant.

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Super Bowl History and Fun Facts

On Sunday, February 7, 2021 Super Bowl LV (55) will showcase a matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This Super Bowl will mark three milestones, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium, Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady will play in his record 10th Super Bowl, and with COVID-19 health restrictions limiting stadium capacity to 22,000 fans, it will be the lowest attended Super Bowl. Information in this blog was obtained from Super Bowl LV, List of Super Bowl Halftime Shows and Super Bowl History.

Before we get into a brief history and trivia regarding the Super Bowl, check out these great game day related products for sale from ILA.  The Large Button Universal Remote with only 6 buttons makes changing the channel or volume a breeze. The 2.5X Sports Spectacles allows you to adjust each lens to achieve the perfect focus while watching the game from the comfort of your living room.  The third highlighted sale item is the George Foreman Grill, which features a non-stick surface for cooking burgers, pork chops, and virtually any food fast and evenly.

History of the Super Bowl

Though the NFL officially formed in 1920, the Super Bowl did not happen until more than 40 years later.

In 1960, a group of businessmen who wanted to own football franchises, but were denied by the NFL, decided to launch an alternative league, known as the American Football League (AFL). For several years, the NFL and AFL were gridiron rivals, competing for fans, players, and support. Then, in 1966, owners negotiated an agreement to merge the leagues by 1970.

The first Super Bowl, which featured the AFL and NFL champions, took place in 1966. The game was originally called the “AFL-NFL World Championship Game,” which was not exactly catchy. The AFL Kansas City Chief’s owner, Lamar Hunt, proposed using the term “Super Bowl” to refer to the championship game.

After the leagues merged, the NFL split into two main conferences: the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The champions of each now play in the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl I took place on January 15, 1967 and included the NFL’s Green Bay Packers against the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. The game was held at the Los Angeles Coliseum, and even though ticket prices averaged just $12, it was the only Super Bowl that did not sell out. Still, the game aired on two different networks and drew in an audience of more than 61,000 fans.

Halftime Shows

During most of the Super Bowl’s first decade, the halftime show featured a college marching band. The show’s second decade featured a more varied show, often featuring drill teams and other performance ensembles; the group Up with People produced and starred in four of the performances. The middle of the third decade, to counter other networks’ efforts to counterprogram the game, saw the introduction of popular music acts such as New Kids on the Block, Gloria Estefan, Michael Jackson, Clint Black, Patti LaBelle, and Tony Bennett.

Starting with Super Bowl XXXII, commercial sponsors presented the halftime show; within five years, the tradition of having a theme, begun with Super Bowl III, ended, replaced by major music productions by arena rock bands and other high-profile acts.

In the six years immediately following an incident at Super Bowl XXXVIII, where Justin Timberlake exposed one of Janet Jackson’s breasts in an alleged “wardrobe malfunction”, all the halftime shows consisted of a performance by one artist or group. The musicians were primarily rock artists from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. These shows were considered “family friendly” and the time in which they took place has been described as “the age of reactionary halftime shows”. Since Super Bowl XLV, the halftime show has returned to featuring popular contemporary musicians, with the typical format featuring a single headline artist collaborating with a small number of guest acts.

The NFL does not pay the halftime show performers an appearance fee, though it covers all expenses for the performers and their entourage of band members, band management, technical crew, security personnel, family, and friends. The Super Bowl XXVII halftime show with Michael Jackson provided an exception, as the NFL and Frito-Lay agreed to donate and provide commercial time for Jackson’s Heal the World Foundation. In lieu of halftime payment, according to Nielsen SoundScan data, the halftime performers regularly experience significant spikes in weekly album sales and paid digital downloads due to the exposure.

Fun Facts About the Super Bowl

The following are a few of the many fun facts that can be found over the 55-year history of the game.

  • The NFL restricts the use of the phrase “Super Bowl” for advertising purposes. Companies often must come up with creative alternatives, such as referring to it as the “Big Game.”
  • The championship team receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy, which is named after the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, who won the first two Super Bowls.
  • With five defeats each, the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots are tied for the record for the most Super Bowl losses.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots each have six Super Bowl victories—the most of any team. The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers each have five wins.
  • Because the football season runs into two calendar years, Roman numerals are used to identify each Super Bowl.
  • A typical 30-second commercial that airs during the Super Bowl costs advertisers more than $5 million.
  • Nearly 14 million Americans are expected to call in sick to work the day after the Big Game, which is sometimes dubbed “Super Sick Monday.”

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