What Should You Do When You Have A Fever?

A fever is a common symptom of many illnesses, from the flu to dental infections. If you have a fever but your other symptoms are not overly serious, you can typically manage the fever on your own at home. Follow these tips to keep yourself comfortable and help keep your temperature down. 

Take a cool bath.

When you have a fever, it is normal for you to feel hot one minute and cold the next. But this does not mean your temperature is fluctuating. When you get the chills, it is because your muscles are contracting quickly to generate the heat associated with the fever -- this can cause some neurological "confusion" that makes you feel cold even though you are very warm. You might feel like curling up under a pile of blankets when you feel the chills come on, but it's actually best to relax in a cool bath instead. This will help lower your body temperature.

Take ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter medication that alleviates pain while also relieving fevers. Take a dose according to package instructions. Make sure you eat a small amount of food with your ibuprofen as it can irritate your stomach otherwise. If you are taking any cold or cough medications, check to ensure they don't contain ibuprofen or another pain reliever (such as aspirin or acetaminophen) before you also take ibuprofen. 

Drink plenty of water.

When you have a fever, your body will be sweating more than normal. This can leave you dehydrated, which can actually make the fever worse. So, make sure you're drinking plenty of water. If you find plain water unappealing, try drinking sports drinks instead. Adding a splash of lemon or orange juice to your water may also make it more appealing. When you feel hungry, opt for foods that contain plenty of liquid, such as soups, applesauce, and yogurt. These will also help keep you hydrated. Limit your exercise so you don't sweat any more than necessary.

Keep in mind that these tips above are intended for adults with minor fevers up to 103 degrees F. If your temperature exceeds 103 degrees F or it does not return to normal (98.6 degrees F) within a day or two, seek medical assistance. Have a friend take you to an urgent care center, where they can take further measures to lower your temperature and ensure your fever does not cause any lasting damage.

Visit a doctor, such as at Meadowbrook Urgent Care, if symptoms persist.