6 Do’s and Don’ts Of Treating Fever In Adults

Updated on July 6, 2022

Fever is the leading indicator of many illnesses. An increase in body temperature may start a domino effect, affecting your vitals such as pulse rate (PR), heart rate (HR), and blood pressure (BP).  

Body fever may also negatively influence your ability to think, decision-making skills, movements, and body coordination. It’s said that the majority of households have anti-fever drugs secured in their kits as preparation for a case of fever. 

Babies and young children have underdeveloped and weak immune systems. Their bodies aren’t capable of defending themselves against bacterial or viral infections. Immediate medical attention is essential to find the fever’s cause, get a proper diagnosis, and have appropriate medical treatment.  

Whereas, adults have a higher tolerance to fever. They may only take over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and resto to recover fully. It’s important to know other remedies on how to bring temperature down. It could be an early warning sign of an infection or underlying disease when it lasts for more than five days. 

Fever: A Few Important Things You Need To Know 

The average normal body temperature is 37° Celsius (98.6° F). Factors such as time of the day, weather, type of clothing, and activities can influence your body temperature and vary all throughout the day. But, when it goes beyond 38°C (100.4° F), it’s considered a fever. 

Fever isn’t usually bad; it also shows that your body is actively defending itself from various infections and internal imbalances. However, chronic fever, late detection of disease, and misdiagnosis can worsen the condition. Here are the common causes of fever you must know: 

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  • Flu is an infection caused by a virus traveling from your upper (nose, throat) to your lower respiratory tract, attacking the lungs. You may experience fever, chills, colds, cough, sore throat, headaches, body malaise, and even diarrhea.  
    Influenza can spread and be transmitted by air droplets when you sneeze or cough. Flu vaccinations are highly encouraged for all ages to prevent or lessen the symptoms when acquired. When left untreated, it can lead to sinusitis, bronchitis, or pneumonia. 
  • Acute inflammatory diseases include tonsillitis, acute respiratory tract infection, and urinatory tract infection (UTI). The fever is mainly caused by inflammation caused by various bacteria and viruses. The temperature rise is the body’s process of killing these harmful pathogens.  
  • Autoimmune diseases develop when your immune system can’t distinguish between the body’s cells to foreign and harmful ones. Some of the fever-causing conditions are rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and psoriatic arthritis. 
  • Other usual causes of fever include but aren’t entirely limited to adverse effects of medications, post-surgery, post-vaccination, and the presence of wounds like deep cuts, diabetic foot, bed sores, and the like. 

Classifications of Fever 

Physicians and other health care workers (HCWs) use the different classifications of fever to determine the diagnosis and administer the proper type and dosage of medication to the patient. Below are the three fever classes: 

  • Low-grade or mild fever for patients with 38°C to 39°C (100.4–102.2°F) temperatures; 
  • Moderate fever for those who have temperatures between 39°C to 40°C (102.2–104.0°F); and 
  • High fever for those who are sick and have temperatures of 40°C to 41.1°C (104.1–106.0°F). 

Fever may be treated at home swiftly and effectively. You must remember that when other symptoms arise, seek immediate medical attention.  

Fever Care For Adults Do’s And Don’ts 

Are you currently taking care of a loved one who’s down with a fever? Medical experts advise holistic care. To help you out, here are some do’s and don’ts of treating fever: 

Fever Care Do’s 

  1. Take OTC non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen. They’re usually taken around the clock until the fever subsides. Some medications now combine with compounds that treat colds, cough, nausea, and sore muscles.  
  1.  Take plenty of rest. Your internal body is fighting off the infection, causing you to feel light-headed, weak, and easily irritated. An adequate amount of sleep is important to help your body recharge and regain strength.  
  1. Take plenty of fluids to cool you from the internal heat your body experiences and prevent dehydration. You may drink coconut water, fresh fruit juice, or add electrolyte powder to your water. 
  1. Take a bath with comfortable, warm water. Before going into the tub or turning on the shower, adjust the water temperature that’s not too cool or too hot. 
  1. You must wear light clothes, so it’s easy to wipe your sweat. If you have chills, wear socks and blankets to warm your body. 
  1. If you feel hot, you may apply damp washcloths to your forehead, neck, armpits, wrists, thighs, and the back of your knees.  

Fever Care Don’ts 

  1. Don’t take different NSAIDs or other anti-fever drugs all at once. These may lead to overdose and fatal conditions.  
  1. Don’t take ice or cold baths when your fever continues to rise. It may cause severe chills, colds, coughs, and loss of consciousness.  
  1. Don’t take alcohol or nicotine products when you’re under medication. These will hamper and counteract the purpose of the drugs. 
  1. If you’re pregnant or have co-existing diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and systemic diseases, don’t self-medicate. Certain medications are appropriate for your condition and may warrant a prescription from a physician.  
  1. Don’t eat too much salty and fatty food. Fruits and vegetables are essential for vitamins and minerals.  
  1. With the recent pandemic, you must isolate yourself when you have a fever. Don’t engage in social activities and go to crowded places unless cleared by the doctor.  

Fever Complications 

You must know the fever complications that require an immediate visit to the emergency room. Here are the following: 

  • Severe confusion (when the patient doesn’t recognize himself, family, time of the day, date, or location); 
  • Swelling or redness of muscles and any body parts; 
  • The appearance of rash in various body parts; 
  • Loss of function in any body part; 
  • Intense pain in muscles, joints, or upon urination or defecation; 
  • Loss of consciousness; 
  • Seizure or severe chills; 
  • Difficulty in breathing; 
  • The unpleasant or unusual odor of urine, feces, or vaginal discharges; and 
  • Severe vomiting and diarrhea. 

Taking All Into Account 

Fever is a good indicator that your body’s natural defense system is attacking the harmful pathogen that causes your illness. Acute infection may resolve shortly with medication and rest. Nonetheless, serious conditions can lead to chronic fever and have accompanying symptoms.  

It’s important to know the do’s and don’ts of treating fever in adults for better and faster recovery. Don’t hesitate to seek medical consultation when the fever lasts more than five days or when you experience complications.