Fever is a common symptom of many illnesses, and in most cases, it’s a sign that the body is fighting an infection. Fevers are one of the most common complaints brought to doctors, and they can be caused by a variety of different things. While most fevers can be treated with over-the-counter medications, understanding the cause of a fever is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment.
In this blog post, we’ll help you identify the possible causes of your fever and provide you with a few natural and medical treatments to help you manage the symptoms. By the end of this blog post, you’ll have the insight needed to tackle any fever symptoms. So, if you’re ready to learn more about the causes and treatments of fever, read on!
How do you determine a fever?
A fever is typically defined as a temperature above 99.5°F (37.5°C). This is true for adults, infants, and children. An oral temperature reading of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher is generally considered a fever.
If you don’t have a thermometer on hand, other signs of a fever include flushed cheeks, shivering, and sweating. Infants and young children may also be more fussy and lethargic than usual. If you believe your child has a fever, it’s important to call your doctor or go straight to the emergency room if they’re very ill. You should also take your child’s temperature and record it in case medical staff need to know what their temperature has been throughout the day.
How do you take a temperature?
One of the most common ways to take a temperature is orally. To do this, you’ll need a thermometer specifically designed for oral use. It is important to correctly sanitize the thermometer between readings. To take an oral temperature, place the thermometer beneath your tongue and gently close your lips around the thermometer. Hold it in place for 3 minutes, or until the thermometer signals that it’s done.
What are the common causes of fever?
Here’s a list of the common causes of fever:
- Infection: Many infections can cause a fever, including common cold and flu viruses, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia.
- Vaccines: Vaccines can cause a mild fever as your body builds immunity to the disease.
- Cancers: Cancer can cause your body to have a higher temperature, particularly in certain types of blood cancers.
- Non-infectious diseases: Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus can cause a fever to rise.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as antibiotics, can also cause fevers.
- Environmental factors: Streptococcal infections, exposure to heat, extreme cold, dehydration, and stress can all cause the body’s temperature to fluctuate.
- Overheating: Bundling up too much or spending too much time in a hot room can cause your body’s temperature to rise.
Understanding the common causes of fever can help you identify potential triggers and take the necessary steps to prevent and manage the illness.
What are the effective treatments for fever?
As the temperature of your body increases, it is your body’s way of fighting off infection or disease. When the body’s temperature rises, white blood cells and other defense mechanisms become more active; this is why antibiotic medications are sometimes prescribed for infections. To treat a fever, the main focus is to make the affected person comfortable until the body can naturally reduce the fever.
To reduce the symptoms associated with fever, there are several home remedies:
- Have plenty of rest and relaxation to allow the body to draw away energy for healing.
- Keep hydrated by drinking fluids to prevent the body from becoming dehydrated.
- If it is age-appropriate, over-the-counter medicines may also be used.
- Use lukewarm sponging to reduce body temperature. Soft and comfortable cloth forms should be used. Never use cold or iced water.
- Keep the room temperature cool but not cold.
- Dress in light, comfortable clothing.
Fevers that last for more than three days or are accompanied by other symptoms may require medical attention. Also, if the fever does not subside after ibuprofen or paracetamol is taken, urgent medical care is recommended. Additionally, if you are concerned at any stage, it is best to seek medical advice.
Though the majority of fevers are mild and can be treated at home, it’s important to be aware of the need to seek medical attention when required. By following the home remedies above, combined with seeking medical advice when needed, fever symptoms can be managed and ultimately dealt with quickly and effectively.
How do I prevent a fever?
Fever can be a real nuisance, especially during the summer months. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to help prevent fever.
- Get vaccinated
Getting regular vaccinations is one of the best ways to prevent fever. Vaccines help protect you from various illnesses that can cause a fever. Speak to your doctor about which vaccinations you should get, and make sure to keep them up to date.
- Keep hydrated
Fluids are important for many reasons, and they can help reduce the risk of fever. Drinking plenty of water, juices, and other fluids throughout the day can help flush out toxins in your body and keep your temperature regulated.
- Reduce stress
Stress can have a significant impact on your health, and it can lead to a fever. Try to reduce stress in your life by practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. Also, get plenty of rest and take time to nurture yourself.
- Clean your surroundings
Germs are everywhere, but you can reduce the risk of fever by keeping your home and workplace clean. Wipe down surfaces with a disinfectant, and wash your hands frequently throughout the day. You should also wear a face mask when leaving the house.
- Eat healthy
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is one of the best ways to keep your immune system strong, which can help you ward off fevers. Make sure you are getting plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains, and limit your intake of junk food.
By following these simple steps, you can reduce your risk of fever and stay healthy. Remember to consult your doctor if you experience any concerning symptoms or if you have any questions or concerns about fever prevention.
When to seek medical assistance?
While most fevers can be treated with at-home interventions, fever can be a symptom of a more serious underlying health issue. When to seek medical assistance for a fever includes:
- Fever that lasts longer than 5 days
- Fever of 104°F (40°C) or higher
- Young children who have a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
- Infants less than 3 months old who have a fever of 100.4°F (38°C)
If you or someone you care for is showing any other signs and symptoms along with a fever, such as fatigue, dizziness, confusion, or shortness of breath, contact UrgentCare MD. Our experienced health professionals can help diagnose and treat medical conditions such as back and joint pain, minor fractures, respiratory illness, and strep throat, among many others.
With UrgentCare MD, you can expect fast, convenient, and affordable health services right when you need them. If you need medical assistance, you can visit one of our clinics near you:
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.