Fever is the temporary increase in body temperature due to an infection or illness affecting the body. This symptom is prevalent; it is one of the most common reasons for prior medical consultation. It is associated with flu and colds, infections in any part of the body, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and diseases such as dengue and the Zika virus.
Fever can be treated with over-the-counter antipyretics or some home remedies. When the temperature does not yield to treatment, it is necessary to see a doctor find out its cause and receive adequate care. Often we cannot know for sure when an adult is considered to have a fever; for this reason, in this FastlyHealarticle, we clarify a ubiquitous question: how much is fever in adults?
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When is fever in adults?
Body temperature can change at different times and is generally higher at night. However, some factors can raise the temperature a bit without causing a fever; for example, women tend to have one degree warmer during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, just after ovulation. Also, intense emotions, physical activity, digestion, humidity, and thick clothing can increase body temperature without causing a fever.
Degrees and fever in adults
The average body temperature is between 36 and 37.5 degrees Celsius, and any elevation above these is considered a fever during the day. Overnight, as typically higher body temperature is considered fever if the measurement exceeds 38 ° C. So is 37.9 a fever in adults? No, it is regarded as a low-grade fever. In this case, what is the fever in adults? For it to be a fever, it must exceed 38.1 ° C. Remember that the temperature can be up to one degree less when measured in the armpit. Therefore, an average axillary measurement can return 36 degrees Celsius in temperature.
Next, we explain what temperature indicates when it is fever in adults:
- Low-grade fever: 37.5 ° C – 38 ° C.
- Mild fever: 38.1 ° C – 38.5 ° C.
- Moderate fever: 38.5 ° C – 39 ° C.
- High fever: higher than 39.6 ° C.
Generally, the general symptoms of fever in an adult are:
- Soft spot
- Pain in the eyelids
- Red and sweaty skin
- Perceptible heat to the touch
- Shaking chills
Other symptoms appear from higher temperatures:
- At 39 ° C, the person may experience dehydration and dizziness.
- At 41 ° C, symptoms such as confusion, disorientation, delirium, drowsiness, and hallucinations are added.
- Above 42 ° C, the person is in danger of falling into a coma.
The symptoms that accompany the fever will be of great importance in determining the cause of the discomfort.
Causes of fever in adults
The human body is brilliant and responds effectively to any action or agent that can hurt it. Fever is proof of this, as the microorganisms that cause viruses and infections proliferate more easily within the body at 37 degrees Celsius. For this reason, when the immune system detects that there are more bacteria in the body than usual, it activates a series of responses in the body to eliminate them.
Among these defense mechanisms, there is an increase in body temperature above 37 degrees, which will allow altering the environment conducive to the reproduction of foreign agents, preventing their proliferation from compromising the health of the body. However, although fever is a symptom that helps the body eliminate viruses and bacteria, it is essential to keep it under control, as it can be hazardous for health when the body reaches 42 ° C.
Among the leading causes of fever are:
- A cold
- Dengue otitis
- Urinary tract infections
We invite you to read our article on the causes of fever so that you know in detail the conditions related to this symptom.
How to lower fever in adults
Fever is a defense mechanism of the body and is generally treated with the consumption of antipyretics such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce fever and facilitate rest. It is advisable to take a single dose every 6 to 8 hours. It is not recommended to take both medications simultaneously or take more than four doses in 24 hours.
In addition to taking the corresponding medication, other tips on how to lower fever in adults at home are:
- Take a lukewarm shower.
- When adults have a fever, they are likely to become easily dehydrated. For this reason, it is essential to drink plenty of fluids. Natural juices and chicken broth are an excellent option since they are very rich in vitamins and minerals to strengthen the immune system.
- Avoid wearing many clothes, preferably keep calm and in a ventilated place.
- If you feel chills, you can use a light blanket.
- Cold compresses are among the best home remedies to lower a fever. If you don’t have compresses at home, you can moisten a towel with cold water and let it sit on your forehead or feet.
If you want to see more home remedies to lower fever, check out this article: Home remedies to reduce fever.
Fever in Adults: When to Go to the ER
As we mentioned before, fever is a very mild symptom that, although it seeks to promote the health of the body, when it is not controlled, can be very harmful. For any problematic or unusual symptoms caused by fever, it is essential to be seen by a professional. For this reason, it is necessary to recognize when to go to the doctor for a fever. Here are some of them:
- Body temperature above 40 ° C.
- The fever is accompanied by other symptoms such as a severe sore throat, discomfort in one or two ears, and respiratory conditions.
- When fever is accompanied by pain and burning when urinating.
- When there has been an intermittent fever for a week.
- The fever is persistent and does not yield to treatment.
- The temperature rises again within two hours after taking the medication.
- If the fever does not go down for two days.
- If you have recently been traveling abroad.
- When the person does not know where they are or has had a seizure.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to How much is fever in adults? We recommend that you enter our Immune System category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.