Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people have become extremely fearful if they or any of their relatives receive a fever. Within no time, they try to bring down the fever or assume the worst when it fails to break after applying all the home remedies.
Fever generally occurs when your body is combating any infection which is caused by viruses and bacteria. It can also be caused by sunburns and recent immunizations or vaccinations. People who have weak immune systems, more often than not, suffer regularly from fevers.
However, when you want to break a fever, you need to keep certain things in mind. First of all, you need to understand that your body has its thermostat which keeps on fluctuating in the normal range. When you get an infection, the setpoint goes up and your body is struggling to meet the higher point. This explains the chills you feel when you suffer from fever.
However, as the point turns normal, your body temperature is still hot. When that happens, your sweat glands will start working and you will feel soaked in your sweat within no time. This is basically how a fever breaks.
Be that as it may, it does not mean that the fever will not return. More often than not, there are episodes where you experience the symptoms of fever returning even after the breaking of the fever.
Now that we know the mechanism of a fever, here’s how you can break it.
How to break a fever?
To break a fever, follow the below-mentioned steps:
- If you are suffering from a fever, the first thing that you should do is assess your temperature and your symptoms. Check whether it falls under 38 degrees Celsius or not. If it goes higher, then you have a fever.
- Once you know that you have a fever, make sure that you sleep and rest in your bed. You don’t want to go out and spread the infection to other people.
- As mentioned earlier, in fever you will experience chills and sweating. Therefore, it is necessary that you keep yourself hydrated and also continue consuming iced tea or some juice.
- Moreover, do not forget to take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen which are the universal medications for treating fever. However, you do not want to consume excessively, nor you want to give high doses of ibuprofen or any dose of ibuprofen to a newly born infant suffering from a fever.
- Make sure that you do not have extra layers of blankets or clothing covering you. You need to stay cool unless you are suffering from irregular chills. In that case, you will have to use blankets.
These are some of the common steps on how to bring a fever down. Now that you are familiarized with them, know what you are supposed to do when complications arise and when you are supposed to consult a doctor.
When should you consult a doctor?
A normal fever generally breaks within a few days of the week. However, when it continues, be it at any age, it is better to consult a doctor, otherwise, a small fever can lead to bog and severe complications. Below mentioned are some guidelines to follow when the fever is not breaking, depending upon different age groups.
- Newly born infants
If newly born infants are suffering from fever, they should be first consulted by the doctor, who will first check whether the child has any other symptoms or not. If a baby suffering from fever is 3 to 6 months old, no special treatment is required for that. However, if there are certain odd symptoms accompanied by it, you should consult your doctor then.
Toddlers who are two years old or younger shall take over-the-counter medications only as prescribed by the doctor. You can inform the doctor if there are any more complications or severities.
- Children and adolescents
If children and young adults from the age group of 2 to 17 are suffering from fever, the doctor can prescribe them over-the-counter medications to bring the temperature down. However, if the temperature is normal, but the children or young adults are suffering from other symptoms of fever such as muscle pain, they don’t need to consume any kind of medication.
If adults are suffering from fever, accompanied by other symptoms such as a stiff neck, severe pain in the body, shortness of breath, and other severities, should seek medical attention. However, if their temperature is normal, they don’t need any other medication.
Not only that but if people above the age group of 65 are experiencing fever along with other comorbidities and symptoms should certainly seek immediate medical attention. However, under normal cases where there is only a spike in the temperature, special treatment is not required.
Medical attention is also required when the fever does not come down within two or three days even after taking over-the-counter medications. However, make sure that these medications do not trigger other medicines you are taking, as they might trigger certain serious reactions.
In addition to this, if you already have a weak immune system, you need to seek immediate medical attention, because a compromised immune system might not stop the infection from spreading in your body, which makes it extremely hard to treat. A weak immune system is especially common in people who are suffering from HIV, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.
These are some of the basic guidelines on how to break a fever. In addition to this, you can always try using a cold compress to reduce the temperature of the body. You can apply these cold compresses near your calves, wrists, and forehead.
In addition to these, you can also try sponging off the entire body with cold water. You can pay special attention to the hot areas of the body, like the armpit region. Once that is done, your body heat will evaporate the moisture and help your body to cool down.