Fever Symptoms in Adults
You feel like you’re freezing to death and the thermometer is beeping wildly. You’ve got the latest bug of the season and now you’ve got a fever to boot. Fevers can make people of all ages feel miserable. In most cases a fever is a signal of illness within the body and warrants further investigation.
Mild fevers may result from common viruses or the common cold in some cases. However, high fevers, those over 101 may be cause for concern. Read on to learn about adult fever and when to see a doctor or seek emergency treatment.
Fever Symptoms in Adults:
Adult fever symptoms can be quite uncomfortable and may make you feel worse than the actual illness itself.
With chills, aches, and fatigue there’s not much else to do except lie in bed while waiting to feel better.
Below are some common Fever Symptoms in Adults:
- Elevated temperature above 100.3
- Diarrhea or nausea (rare)
- Sleeping poorly
- Restlessness or agitation (more common in the elderly)
- Mild aches or muscle pain
- Dizziness in high fever
- Decreased appetite
Home Treatment of Adult Fever:
Adult fever symptoms are most often treated with home treatment alone with no need for emergency care or a doctor’s care. If your fever is less than 102 and you have been ill less than two days, home treatment may be appropriate. It’s important to keep a close eye on the elderly adult though to prevent dehydration during fevers. Symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, sunken eyes, and decreased urine output in most individuals. To prevent dehydration in the elderly keep plenty of liquids within easy reach to promote good hydration throughout the day. Also try these home remedies for some quick relief:
- Lukewarm baths or cool showers may provide some relief
- Keep clothing and blankets light
- Drink plenty of fluids, including soups or broths if your appetite has decreased
- Try over the counter fever reducers such as Tylenol or Motrin for quick fever reduction and relief from aches or pains
- In some cases, it might be better to try a tepid sponge bath to reduce temperature
- Rest and try to avoid becoming overly warm
- Eating lightly may also help to ease nausea or diarrhea as well
It’s important to remember that there’s no need to wrap anyone in heavy blankets to “break” a fever. This may cause severe consequences and negative outcomes to the patient. Of course shivering can also increase the fever as the body temperature rises from the effects of shivering. So keep on light comfortable clothing and a blanket or light sheet for comfort. This will reduce the fever and help you to rest easily as you recover from your illness.
When to See the Doctor or Seek Emergency Treatment:
In adults, fever often resolves on its own or with the treatment of underlying infections. If you’ve had a fever for more than two days or your fever is over 103 degrees Fahrenheit then it’s time to see the doctor. In fact adults with fevers over 103 should seek emergency medical treatment to prevent dehydration, seizures, or other complications from occurring.
Although most fevers do not reach this level those resulting from influenza, Lyme disease, or meningitis and other conditions may cause extremely high fevers which warrant rapid medical treatment for the best outcomes. If you’ve recently undergone a surgical procedure, your fever might be indicative of a variety of underlying causes. In this case, it is highly recommended that you seek urgent medical care to prevent further complications.
Hopefully the home treatments above will help you to get some rest and relief. Remember to watch for signs of dehydration in the elderly and keep clothing light while feverish. If your fever lasts longer than two days or goes above 103 you should seek medical treatment. Adults experiencing fevers above 103 or fever with stiff neck and rash should seek emergency medical treatment immediately.