When a fever occurs, it is normally a sign that something out of the ordinary is happening in the body. Fever is usually not dangerous unless it reaches 103F or higher in adults but in children, a somewhat high temperature may mean the presence of a serious infection which may require immediate medical attention. The intensity of fever does not point to the gravity of the underlying condition as a minor disease might cause high fevers whereas a more serious disease may cause a low fever in patients.
The presence of fever is a result of the rise of temperature beyond the normal range of 98.6F. Depending on the cause of the fever, other signs and symptoms may include general weakness, severe headache, dehydration and appetite loss in the body, muscle aches, shivering and too much sweating. Other symptoms that may be experienced due to high fevers of over 103F include hallucinations, irritability, convulsions and confusion. Often, a fever would go within days, thus a general practitioner would prescribe a range of medications to lower it.
A fever may be caused either by a viral infection, bacterial infection, heat exhaustion; a body’s menstrual cycle in females and the involvement in heavy exercise. Further to this, extreme sunburn, medications such as antibiotics and drugs used in treating high blood pressure; other inflammatory conditions and a malignant tumor. It is noted that sometimes identifying the cause of fever may not be easy even after medical evaluation is carried out.
Complications that come about as a result of fever include hallucinations, seizures due to fever in children under the age of 5 years and severe dehydration. The seizure – febrile seizures- is normally accompanied by loss of consciousness and shaking of limbs in both sides of the body. In case a child develops complications, seek the attention of a general practitioner as soon as possible to determine the cause of such fever. Most fevers more often stop on their own. However, in situation where a seizure lasts for more than 10 minutes, call emergency help immediately.
Most general practitioners do not always recommend attempts to lower the temperature of the body as doing so may lengthen the disease making it difficult to determine the cause of the illness. In addition, forceful treatment of fever hinders the immune reaction of a person’s body. Viruses causing respiratory infections live well at the normal body temperature so; producing a low grade fever an individual’s body is more likely to get rid of such virus.
Home remedies and lifestyle changes
To be more comfortable during fever, one should take plenty of fluids since fever can cause loss of body fluids and dehydration. Furthermore, enough rest is essential for a patient’s recovery, in situations of high temperatures, soak in lukewarm water. If the soak leads to trembling to the person, bring to an end the bath and dry off. Dress in clothes that are light keeping the room temperature cool.
Reducing the exposure to infectious diseases is the best preventive measure for fevers; regular hand washing is the simplest and effective way. Children should be taught to wash their hands quite often specifically before any meal, after toilet use or after attending to a patient or petting animals. However, in a case where there is no access to water and soap, use of sanitizer is recommended. Teach your children not to touch their eyes, noses and mouths with dirty hands as this is the main means of transmitting viral infections; turn away from others and cover their mouths and noses while coughing and sneezing respectively.