Fever Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention: A Fever is diagnosed when there is an increase in the body temperature. It is part of an immune response when the immune system is trying to fight an infection. Many children and adults find fever to be uncomfortable. Fever is not a cause of concern as it means that your body is trying to fight an infection.
Most fevers go down in a few days even without medications. However if you have a body temperature higher than 102°F and it does not go down in a few days then you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. The normal body temperature of an adult is 98.6°F (37॰C). Every rise in the body temperature does not mean fever. In adults, an increase of 2°F in the body temperature is considered as Fever.
A fever can be diagnosed by checking the body temperature of a person by using a thermometer. The body temperature of a person can be checked oral, rectally, through the armpit and ear of the person. There may be slight variations in the temperatures obtained from these locations but it can give an idea whether the person is suffering from fever or not. Fever can be treated with medications and bed rest and does not lead to any complications.
A fever is an immune response in which the body temperature of the patient increases and becomes higher than their normal body temperature. Generally, fever is not a serious medical condition and can be treated with over-the-counter medications and bed rest. However if infants are suffering from a fever then it means that they are suffering from a serious infection and need medical care.
Many children can also suffer from seizures if they have a fever for long periods. This is known as a febrile seizure and it can involve loss of consciousness, shaking in limbs, rolling of eyes and stiffness in body. These seizures do not lead to any permanent damage to the body however you should get your child tested and treated for the cause which is causing their fever.
Fever can occur due to other causes as well such as heat exhaustion, after vaccinations and tumours. The article given below covers all the details regarding fever, its causes, symptoms, diagnostic methods, treatment and preventive measures.
Causes of Fever
A fever is generally an immune response as a result of an infection or injury to the body. There are other causes which can also lead to the onset of a fever in an individual. These causes are listed below.
- A viral or bacterial infection- Many patients experience fever because of an immune response. Their body temperature increases because their immune system is trying to get rid of the infection.
- After vaccination such as DPT, COVID-19 vaccine and Chickenpox vaccine- Many infants experience a mild fever after they get their first doses of vaccines. This is because the vaccines are aimed at developing the immunity of the patient against many diseases. Vaccines also trigger an immune response which can cause the onset of fever in infants.
- Inflammatory conditions- Many inflammatory conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis can also lead to the development of fever in some patients as these conditions trigger the immune system and can lead to the development of fever.
- Malignant tumours- Many malignant tumours also lead to the onset of fever in some patients as they can trigger the immune system of the patient.
- Side effects of medications for high blood pressure and seizures- Many patients who are beginning their high blood pressure or seizure medication can also experience fever as a common side effect.
- Heat stroke- Fever following prolonged exposure to heat can also lead to the development of fever in some people.
Symptoms of Fever
A fever can carry many other symptoms depending on what is causing the fever. Some of the common symptoms which accompany a fever are listed below.
- Excessive Sweating
- Body aches
- Loss of appetite and Dehydration
- Chills and shivering
- Weakness and fatigue
- Flushing of the face and hot skin
Treatment of Fever
If you are suffering from a mild fever then there is no reason for worry and it can be treated at home. The following treatment methods can be used for the treatment of Fever.
- Over-the-counter medications- Many over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen, Paracetamol and Acetaminophen can be used for the treatment of fever. These medications can treat bodyache and reduce the body temperature of the patient.
- Prescription medications- If your fever is caused by an underlying disease such as Rheumatoid Arthritis or a bacterial or viral infection. Then your doctor will prescribe you medication for the treatment of the cause. These can include antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications which will reduce your other symptoms and your fever.
- Drink more fluids- Your doctor will advise you to drink more fluids as this will improve the loss of heat through sweating and will bring down your body temperature.
- Bed rest- You will be advised complete bed rest as your body will require time to recover from the fever and the illness.
- Cold compresses- If you are running a very high fever then you can apply a cold towel on your forehead to bring down your temperature. You can also wear loose clothing and sleep with only a light blanket. Follow this method only when you are not suffering from chills and shivering otherwise it can increase these symptoms and further raise your body temperature.
Prevention of Fever
Since a fever is an immune response, in order to prevent it you will need to prevent any cause which can trigger your immune system and lead to the development of fever. You can follow the methods given below in order to prevent the onset of fever.
- Get your vaccines- You should get all your vaccines at the prescribed times in order to avoid any diseases which can lead to the onset of fever. These diseases include Chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus.
- Wash your hands- You should always wash your hands when you come home from outside and teach your children to do the same as well. Teach your children how to wash their hands thoroughly in order to avoid getting sick.
- Avoid touching your face- You should not touch your face and ears when you are outside as it can lead to the transfer of bacteria from your hands to your face and allow them a passage to enter your body.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes- Always cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow as it can lead to the transfer of an infection to other people through your droplets.
- Avoid sharing utensils- You should not share your utensils with your children as it can also cause bacteria to transfer from you to your children.
FAQs Related of Fever
Every person has a different normal body temperature and every rise in the body temperature does not mean that they are suffering from a fever. An increase of 2°F in the normal body temperature of an individual is considered as Fever.
A fever can last for three to five days depending on the cause. However if it does not resolve in this time period then you should seek medical help as it can mean that the fever has occurred due to some serious underlying condition.
You can lower a fever by taking antipyretics and prescription medications in order to treat the cause of your fever. You can also try to lower your body temperature by applying cold towels over your forehead and wearing light clothing.