How To Tell If You Have A Fever

by thooghun

Learn how to tell-tale signs that you have a fever, and what you can do right now to efficiently prevent and cure it!

Feeling A Little Down In The Dumps?

feverDiagnosing a fever is fortunately very easy to do, the hard part is understanding why it came about and soothing any symptoms that might plague you.

This article will help you find out whether or not you have a fever, what the root causes may be and what you can do to hasten recovery and alleviate the symptoms.

Before we get cracking, it goes without saying that this article in no way seeks to substitute professional medical advice, and that visiting a doctor is always preferable!

If, however, you'd rather face this one down yourself, it should give you all the information and tips you need to keep your smile in place. Without further a-do, let's get cracking!

Tell-Tale Signs You Have A Fever

First Steps

The most conspicuous alarm bell with regards to diagnosing a fever is body temperature. Before we begin narrowing our focus on kinds of fevers and possible home-friendly remedies, let's grab a thermometer and size this fever up.

A normal body temperature usually hovers around 36.8 °C (98.2 °F)

This is the temperature that the body thrives best at, but it can vary slightly from person to person and rises slightly as the day goes on. To take account of this, a fever is usually diagnosed as a temperature that exceeds 99 - 99.5 °F (37.2 - 37.5 °C). If your value is well clear of this, you have a fever. If you don't have a thermometer at hand, let's take a look at some other conspicuous symptoms that you may be struck by.

Symptoms Of A Fever

There's quite a few of them

how to tell if you have a feverThe following array of symptoms are common in mild fevers (up to 103 degrees Fahrenheit).

  • Headaches
  • Chills and shivering
  • General malaise, feeling winded and tired
  • Bouts of sweating
  • Generalized or specific muscle pain
  • Signs of dehydration (dry and pale lips and skin, itchy eyes e.t.c)
  • Loss of appetite and general irritability

If the fever surpasses 103 F (39.4 C) you may begin to experience the onset of more severe symptoms:

  • Convulsions
  • Hallucinations
  • Bewilderment
  • A worsening of the mild symptoms listed above

If you are sure you are experiencing some of the more severe symptoms you should call a doctor immediately. Be on the look out for additional symptoms which may warrant immediate attention such as; rashes, swelling of the throat, vomiting, lower chest pains, a painful stiff neck or a disabling headache. For more information regarding high fevers please browse this article on when to see a doctor.

Diagnosing Your Fever

Educated guesswork

Self-diagnosis can require a bit of memory work. Usually the triggers are quite mundane, and we tend to forget them. By far the most common causes are your body's attempt to fight off bacterial and viral infections such as the common cold or the flu. Here is a quick checklist that should help most viewers. This is a highly abbreviated summary.

  • Frequent need to urinate with burning sensation - Urinary tract infection
  • Earache, ear pain or hearing loss - An ear infection
  • Sneezing, a cough, itchy or watery eyes - A cold or the flu
  • Pain behind the eyes or forehead and flu like symptoms? - Sinusitis

Other common causes include BronchitisGastroenteritis and Pneumonia. Any infection is liable to cause a fever. If you cannot find the cause, and the symptoms persist over time, it is best to see a doctor -- just in case.

Alleviating The Symptoms

You could use a break

Many people instinctively dive for antipyretic (fever reducing drugs) once they feel their temperature rise. It is key to understand that the fever is not a problem in of itself, rather, it is the body attempting to fight off the infection. By quelling the fever, you are reducing your body's natural effectiveness at ridding itself of the cause of infection. Only when the fever reaches debilitating and dangerous heights should you intervene. But besides that, there is a lot you can do for yourself.

  • Drink a lot of water to help with dehydration.
  • Rest and sleep as much as possible.
  • Lie comfortably within a tepid bath full of water to freshen up and relax your ailing muscles. Do not make the water too warm!
  • If your headaches are causing you grief, consider taking some over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen or aspirin (for adults only). This may reduce your fever, but may, at the same time, reduce inflammation.
  • Slip out of your civilized clothing to allow your body to properly sweat and ventilate itself
  • Eat simple foods, your stomach is prone to working overtime when killing bacteria, and it may be fragile.

This concludes my article on how to tell if you have a fever, I hope it has been of use to you! In most cases despite feeling that life at this moment is tremendously unfair, there is nothing terribly serious to worry about. My only parting words would be to pay close attention to how persistent the symptoms are, even if they are mild. Thank you very much for sticking with me, and I would love to hear from you in the comments section below with any suggestions, queries or criticisms you may have. I hope you feel better soon!

Updated: 01/28/2012, thooghun
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Roxy on 02/01/2013

much better! Thanks!

thooghun on 02/01/2013

You're absolutely welcome Roxy, you should be feeling better by now!

Roxy on 01/24/2013

This is the best help I have found for this question and I really appreciate it. Most sites I have found pretty much just tell you to go buy a thermometer. Well, that's not any help!

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