A fever is when your body temperature temporarily increases, most often due to an illness that requires medical treatment. Fevers can indicate a number of things going on with your body, though an infection is the most common cause. Most fevers will cause discomfort but should not be of great concern unless they reach 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
You are urged to seek medical treatment if you have a fever of 102 or higher that lasts longer than four hours. At Midwest Express Clinic, we offer professional medical services with the convenience of a walk-in clinic, so you never need to make an appointment when you are experiencing a fever or other medical issue.
Common Symptoms of a Fever:
- Sweating: Experiencing excessive sweating is a common symptom when you have a fever. Your body is working hard to regulate its temperature.
- Shivering/Shaking: Chills and shivering are your body’s response to the increased temperature. It’s trying to bring your temperature back to normal.
- Constant Dehydration: Fevers can lead to increased sweating, which can result in dehydration. Staying hydrated is crucial during a fever.
- Muscle Aches/Overall Weakness: Muscle aches and weakness often accompany a fever, making you feel fatigued and uncomfortable.
- Decreased Appetite: It’s common to lose your appetite when you have a fever. Eating light, easily digestible foods is advisable.
Risks Associated with a High Fever:
If a high fever goes untreated, you are at risk for:
- Convulsions: High fevers, especially in children, can lead to convulsions. It’s important to seek medical attention promptly.
- Confusion: Elevated body temperature can affect cognitive function and lead to confusion.
- Hallucinations: Some individuals may experience hallucinations as a result of a high fever.
- Extreme Irritability: A fever can make you feel extremely irritable and uncomfortable.
- Seizures: In severe cases, prolonged high fevers can trigger seizures, which require immediate medical intervention.
Managing a Seizure from a Fever:
What do I do if my child or someone I am near has a seizure from a fever? We recommend laying that person on their side or stomach on a hard surface such as the ground. Remove any sharp objects that may be nearby, then loosen any tight clothing that they are wearing. DO NOT place anything in their mouth to try and stop the seizure.
Alternatives to Medication for Fever:
If I have a fever but do not want to take medication, what are some other alternatives?
- You can apply a cool, wet cloth to your forehead, drink plenty of cool fluids such as water or Gatorade, take a cool bath, and avoid bundling yourself up in a bunch of blankets or clothing.
If you are worried your fever may pose a serious health concern, you may want to come to one of our locations.
Other Causes of Fevers:
Although an infection is the most common cause, you may also get a fever as a side effect from drugs, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and vaccines.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a fever, and why does it occur?
A fever is a temporary increase in your body temperature, typically caused by an underlying medical condition that requires attention. The most common cause is an infection. When your body detects an invader, like bacteria or a virus, it raises its temperature to create an environment less conducive to the intruder’s survival. This is a sign that your immune system is working to fight off the infection.
What are the symptoms and risks associated with fevers?
Common symptoms of a fever include sweating, shivering, constant dehydration, muscle aches, and decreased appetite. High fevers can be concerning, as they may lead to convulsions, confusion, hallucinations, extreme irritability, and seizures. It’s crucial to monitor and manage high fevers carefully.
When should I seek medical treatment for a fever?
You should seek medical treatment if your fever reaches 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and lasts longer than four hours. High fevers can have serious consequences, such as seizures, and require prompt medical attention. Midwest Express Clinic offers convenient walk-in services to address your fever or other medical concerns.
What should I do if someone has a seizure due to a fever?
If someone has a seizure from a fever, it’s essential to lay them on their side or stomach on a hard surface, remove nearby sharp objects, and loosen tight clothing. DO NOT attempt to put anything in their mouth to stop the seizure. Seek immediate medical assistance.
Are there alternatives to medication for reducing a fever?
Yes, there are alternatives to medication for managing a fever. You can apply a cool, wet cloth to your forehead, stay hydrated by drinking cool fluids like water or Gatorade, take a cool bath, and avoid excessive bundling with blankets or clothing. These measures can help alleviate discomfort during a fever.
What are some less common causes of fevers besides infection?
While infection is the primary cause of fevers, they can also result from factors such as drug side effects, certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, and vaccines. If you suspect an alternative cause for your fever, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.