Fever (also referred to as pyrexia) is when the body has a higher-than-normal body temperature. Having a fever is often a symptom caused by a variety of other illnesses.
While nobody wants to get a fever, it’s possible for anyone of any age to get a fever. At North County Health Services, we want to give you the knowledge and resources to help you understand your symptoms, illnesses, and other medical conditions while also equipping you with solutions to help you feel better and get back on your feet.
Looking how to know if you have a fever? Below you’ll find some of the most common fever symptoms that you can look for on your own or with the help of someone in your family.
The most common symptom of a fever is that the body will have a higher temperature than it usually does. This is one of the first things that people notice when they start to feel “off.” On average for most people, the normal temperature to be expected is around 98.6 F or 37 C, and the higher temperature your body is from that point, the more likely you are to have a fever.
Other fever symptoms include the following:
- Chills and Shivering
- Muscle Ache
- Loss of Appetite
- General Weakness
Being aware of these symptoms can help you to detect a fever sooner so that you can decide if you want to seek treatment. Although having these symptoms doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you have a fever, if you feel concerned about having a fever or are worried that there’s something more serious going on, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local doctor.
When Should I See a Doctor About My Fever?
Most people may not know when to worry about a fever. When to see doctor can depend on a variety of conditions, such as age. If you notice any of the following along with your fever, you’ll want to seek a doctor or medical care immediately:
- Temperatures that rise beyond 103 F (39.4 C).
- Severe headaches.
- Skin rashes that are unusual or worsen very quickly.
- Sudden sensitivity to bright lights.
- Abnormal neck pain when tipping your head forward.
- Seizures or convulsions.
- Abdominal pain.
- Pain when urinating.
- Vomiting persistently.
- Chest pain.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Fever lasting more than 3 days.
For children or infants, some of the following can warrant a call to the doctor, just to be safe:
- Temperature exceeding 100.4 F (38 C).
- Seems abnormally uncomfortable, lethargic, or irritable.
- Fevers lasting more than 1-3 days (shorter for infants and younger children).
- Vomits repeatedly.
- Severe headache or stomachache.
- Fevers after being left in a hot car.
- Seems to have poor eye contact with you.
As always, if you are concerned at any point about the fever being severe or indicating something more serious, contact your doctor immediately. Don’t wait for symptoms in yourself or your child to line up perfectly with suggested symptoms online: contact your doctor.
What Causes a Fever?
A fever happens when your immune system goes into overdrive to defend against pyrogens (the substances that can cause a fever), which typically come from an outside source. When the body detects pyrogens in the body, it tells a part of the brain to increase the temperature of the body to help combat the harmful substances in the body.
Pyrogens typically come from the following sources: viruses, bacteria, fungi, and toxins, and others.
Fevers can also be caused by heat exhaustion, certain medications (typically those that treat high blood pressure or seizures), certain immunizations (like diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTaP), etc.), a malignant tumor, and more.
Treatment and Prevention for a Fever
Are you looking for how to get rid of a fever? After you’ve recognized some of the key fever symptoms, treating a fever is typically pretty easy. In most cases, the fever will go away in just a matter of days. There are a variety of over-the-counter medications that can assist in lowering the fever.
Outside of getting over-the-counter or prescription medication, treating a fever involves drinking plenty of fluids, resting often, and staying cool in order to create an environment and atmosphere to make a full recovery.
If you’re looking for swift treatment of your fever, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at North County Health Services and we’ll be happy to help you find the cause and treatment of your fever so that you can get back on your feet.
While you may not be able to prevent a fever, there are a handful of things you can do to reduce the likelihood of getting a fever:
- Always washing your hands before eating, after using the restroom, or after spending time in a crowd or around other people (especially if someone may be sick), after petting animals, and during travel/public transportation.
- Carry hand sanitizer with you in the event that washing your hands is not an option.
- Avoid sharing water bottles, cups, and other utensils with others.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
Looking for how to know if you have a fever, trying to identify fever symptoms, or want to get treatment for your fever? North County Health Services can help you make a full recovery from your fever: contact us or schedule an appointment to ask about fever symptoms and treatment options. Find a location near you!