Body temperature higher than our normal temperature is called FEVER.
It is also referred to as hyperthermia or pyrexia. It is usually a sign that our body is working to keep our self healthy from an infection that has taken place inside the body.
It’s a temporary increase often due to an illness.
A person having a fever becomes restless and uncomfortable, as carrying out daily activities is hampered. But usually, it isn't a cause for concern unless it reaches 103 F (39.4 C) or higher.
Fever generally goes away within a few days and it plays a key role in fighting off a number of infections.
Let us understand the symptoms of fever, its causes and treatment.
When the temperature rises above its normal range of 98.6 F (370C), then the person starts feeling warm.
Additionally along with fever, they may also experience shivering, feeling cold. They may have low appetite, joint pain, feel dehydrated and get tired very soon. They always feel less energetic and have increased sensitivity to pain.
The other reasons for a person to feel feverish are sun stroke, excessive exercise, alcohol consumption, tight restrictive body clothing, anxiety, hyperthyroidism and menopause.
Strict temperature monitoring should be done to rule out any confusion between the various disorders.
Temperature monitoring is done with the help of a thermometer. Thermometer is a cheap, easily available and the most reliable instrument.
Temperature can be monitored by putting thermometer under the arm or inside the mouth. The device is simple to use and almost everybody has it at their place.
If the reading is above 37°C (99.4 F), the person has a fever. Immediate attention should be paid if fever is accompanied by any of the signs or symptoms like severe headache, unusual skin rash, unusual sensitivity to bright light, abdominal pain, mental confusion, persistent vomiting, difficulty in breathing or chest pain and sometimes convulsions or seizures.
Other reasons for the cause of a rise in body temperature could be Immunization, Inflammatory diseases (RA and SLE), Malignancies, drug induced and blood clots.
Fever is usually associated with physical discomfort.
It does not require medical treatment but depending on age, physical condition and the underlying cause of fever sometimes the need for treatment is required.
It is believed that fever is a natural body defense mechanism against infection. There are also many other non-infectious causes of fever.
Ways to lower down fever at home are -
Keeping cool with light weight clothing and bed coverings.
Sometimes antibiotics have to be used for bacterial infection such as sore throat.
In some cases where after following these simple steps at home still if the fever doesn’t come down then immediately a general practitioner, consulting MD physician or an ID specialist should be approached and their advise to be followed.
Fever can be treated at home but in some specific underlying medical conditions there is this need to consult a general practitioner or a specialist.
Simple precautionary steps are taken to avoid fever are -
Maintaining a good immune system,
Avoiding contact with sick people,
Avoiding contact with sick people,
Preventing mosquito bites.
Having a fever is generally very uncomfortable but it does not cause severe complications. High grade fever >103 F or prolonged bouts of fever can lead to severe dehydration, hallucinations and/or seizures.
It is important to seek treatment in such cases. Many of the infections that can cause fever can lead to severe complications if untreated.
Many people understand fever with chills is always associated with malaria.
It’s not malaria always; instead some infections also lead to shivering or chills. People always think that fever with chills are indications of malaria and without getting any investigations done they start taking the treatment for the same. But it is very important to understand and get the investigations done to rule out any complications.
To investigate the cause of fever,
Routine and special blood investigations,
In some cases CT SCAN may be needed to assure and confirm the cause to get the right treatment at right time.
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