Fever in adults is a common medical condition that affects adults, and it is often associated with a range of symptoms such as chills, fatigue, and body aches. It occurs when the body temperature rises above the normal range of 98.6°F (37°C). In most cases, fever is a sign that the immune system is fighting an infection or illness. In this article, we will explore the causes and treatment of fever in adults.
This article will guide you in the following areas:
- Fever in adults
- Causes of fever
- Treatment of fever
Causes of Fever in Adults
- Infections: Fever is often a symptom of an infection. The body temperature rises to help fight off the infection. Some common infections that can cause fever in adults include:
- Urinary tract infections
- Influenza (flu)
- Sinus infections
- Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
- Inflammatory conditions: Some inflammatory conditions can cause fever in adults. These conditions include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Medications: Some medications can cause fever as a side effect. Examples include:
- Anti-seizure medications
- Medications for high blood pressure
- Cancer: Fever can be a symptom of cancer, especially in cases where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
- Other causes: Other causes of fever in adults include:
- Blood clots
- Autoimmune diseases
- Heat exhaustion or heatstroke
- Hormonal imbalances
- Thyroid problems
Treatment of Fever in Adults
- Medications: Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) can help reduce fever and relieve other symptoms such as body aches and headaches.
- Fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids such as water, juice, and electrolyte solutions can help prevent dehydration, which can occur with fever.
- Rest: Resting and getting plenty of sleep can help the body fight off infections and illnesses that may be causing the fever.
- Cooling measures: Applying cool compresses to the forehead, taking a cool shower or bath, and wearing lightweight clothing can help reduce fever and make you feel more comfortable.
- Treating the underlying cause: If the fever is caused by an infection, it may be necessary to take antibiotics or antiviral medications to treat the infection. If the fever is caused by an inflammatory condition, treating the underlying condition may help reduce the fever.
When to See a Doctor
In most cases, fever in adults is not a serious condition and can be managed with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. However, it is important to seek medical attention if:
- The fever lasts for more than a few days
- The fever is very high (above 103°F or 39.4°C)
- You have other symptoms such as severe headache, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or rash
- You have a weakened immune system due to a medical condition or medication
Fever is a common condition in adults, and it is often a sign that the body is fighting an infection or illness. While most cases of fever can be managed with over-the-counter medications and home remedies, it is important to seek medical attention if the fever is severe or lasts for more than a few days. By understanding the causes and treatment of fever in adults, you can take steps to manage your symptoms and promote a faster recovery.