How to Get a Significant Drop In Fever Quickly
Fever is probably the single most important symptom of illness. It is also one of the main ways in which your body defends itself against disease. Oral body temperature ranges between 96.8 and 99.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Like a built-in thermostat, a center in the brain keeps your temperature within this normal range, in spite of conditions outside your body.
When you become sick, especially with a severe infection, the invading germs cause your body to produce substances that circulate in the brain center and reset this thermostat. As your body works to keep this higher temperature to help fight the infection, you feel feverish. Your fever may begin either with a sensation of flushing and warmth, ‘or’ with chills. Soon your pulse rate will increase, and you may experience aches and pains in your muscles.
Cause of Concern about Fever
An increased temperature is a clue that you may be ill. However, the number does not necessarily tell you how sick you are. In general, children tend to have higher fevers than adults while elderly people do not have high fevers when they are sick. So how do you know Cause for Concern? A low-grade fever — under 102 degrees Fahrenheit orally — associated with the symptoms of cold or flu is no cause for alarm. However, if your fever increases beyond a low grade, or there are other symptoms associated with severe shaking chills, unusually severe headaches or neck stiffness, consult your doctor. A prolonged low-grade fever, even without other symptoms, or a fever that comes and goes over a period of several weeks, should also receive medical attention. Extremely high fevers, particularly in infants or young children, will occasionally cause convulsions. It should be considered a medical emergency requiring immediate medical care.
Probable Treatment of Fever
Because fever is simply a symptom and not a disease itself, treatment depends on the cause. If you have a low-grade fever with symptoms of cold or flu, home treatment with aspirin (provided you are not allergic) or acetaminophen taken every six hours may relieve muscle aches, as well as lower your temperature. However, any drug treatment should be discussed with your doctor. Aspirin should not be used if your child has a fever since its use has linked to a serious complication of certain viral illness called Reye ’s syndrome.
As part of the evaluation of any prolonged or unusual fever, your physician will ask you if you have traveled recently, taken any drugs, or have been exposed to any infectious.