Fever is the body’s natural response to infections and inflammation, but without fever treatment, it can cause serious side effects. Prestige Emergency Room is a leading and trusted provider of fever care and treatment, using state-of-the-art techniques to diagnose the cause of fever in patients of all ages in San Antonio, TX.
What causes fever?
Many fevers are caused by infections when the body’s immune system takes action to fight off invading germs. Raising the body temperature is one way the immune system helps destroy germs. When an infection is occurring, the immune system “resets” the body’s internal temperature to a higher temperature that makes the body inhospitable to germs. In addition to infection, other causes of fever include:
- Extreme burns including sunburn
- Inflammatory conditions or autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
- Other underlying diseases or medical conditions
- Certain medications including some anti-seizure medications and high blood pressure drugs
- Normal reactions to immunizations (mild fever can occur as part of the antibody-building response)
Fevers can also cause symptoms like chills, sweating, headache, muscle aches, weakness, dehydration, and fatigue.
How can I tell if I need to see a doctor for my fever symptoms?
Most low-grade fevers are short-lived, especially in otherwise healthy adults, but others that don't have a normal temperature need prompt medical attention and fever treatment. Generally speaking, emergency care should be sought for fevers that are:
- 101°F or higher in adults and children over 6 months of age, 100.4°F or higher in infants up to three months of age
- Accompanied by signs of dehydration
- Accompanied by other symptoms like chest pain, rash, persistent sore throat or headache, stiff neck, confusion, extreme fatigue or lethargy, belly pain or pain when urinating
Because the side effects of fever can progress rapidly, it’s always a good idea to seek professional opinion and care.
How is a fever treated?
For patients with low fevers, no fever treatment may be recommended. Instead, the fever may be allowed to “run its course” in order to avoid overmedicating or to prevent masking underlying symptoms or causes. Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen may be prescribed to treat some types of fever and to alleviate symptoms. When an underlying infection is present, prescription medications are used to assist the immune system in battling the infection. Fever due to other causes like burns, autoimmune diseases, or tumors will require other types of care.