The normal body temperature of most people is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature goes above this, it is considered a fever. Everyone is familiar with how miserable and worrisome fevers can be. This is especially true when dealing with young children. That’s why many people look for a fever treatment at home, to deal with it in the beginning only. Fevers are a common sign of illness and necessary response of your body to fight off some kind of bacterial or viral infection.
Now, if any fever is caused as a result of an underlying viral illness, or viral infection, it is called viral fever. There are various viral infections that can affect us, including the common cold and the flu. Also, viruses are tiny germs and can easily spread from one person to another.
Your immune system responds by going into overdrive as soon as your contract a viral condition. And a part of this response oftentimes is raising the temperature of your body. This makes it less hospitable to various germs and the virus. Also, viral fever is different from bacterial fever, as the former does not respond to antibiotics. It simply runs its course, which takes anywhere between 2 days to a week or even longer. This depends on the type of infection the person is suffering from. But, there are certain things that you can do while the virus runs its course. With these things, you can manage your symptoms. Read along to learn more about this.
Understand when to see a doctor
Usually, you should not really worry a lot about fever. But it can pose some health issues if it’s high enough. This is especially true for young children. Young children are in more danger than adults when it comes to high fever. You should seek medical advice if a young child suffering from fever, and is also showing the following signs –
- The child is unusually lethargic and irritable
- The fever lasts longer than 2-3 days
- Medications are not working on fever
- The child is unable to keep fluids down
- The child is not maintaining eye contact with you
On the other hands, adults need to look out for following problems along with high fever –
- Fever is not responding to medication.
- Severe headache
- Trouble breathing
- Convulsions or seizures
- Stiff neck
- Frequent vomiting
- Pain in chest or abdominal
If the fever is 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and lasts longer than three days, seek medical attention. Now, look at some of the things that you can do at home while the fever runs its course.
Keep yourself hydrated and drink fluids
The first thing that you need to keep in mind is that you have to stay properly hydrated. When you are suffering from viral fever, your body warms up more than usual. And to cool down, your body starts to sweat. This also leads to the loss of fluid from your body that causes dehydration. This is why dehydration happens easily, especially with babies and young children.
The key is to drink a lot of fluids, as much as you can. This is very important to replenish lost fluids when you have a viral fever. You don’t just have to drink water, other fluids would also work. Here are some of the good options that can provide hydration –
- Sports drinks
- Decaffeinated tea
You can use a specially formulated drink with electrolytes, like Pedialyte, for babies and toddlers. You can get these drinks easily online or at your local grocery store. Or you can also make an electrolyte drink on your own at home.
Get plenty of rest
I don’t have to tell you about the importance of sleep for your body. It is the most powerful natural method for your body to recover from illness. In fact, not getting enough sleep can cause more problems for you, and make you sick. Your body is working hard to fight off an infection, which is causing a viral fever.
So, it is important for you to just cut yourself some slack by resting for a good amount of time. You need plenty of sleep so that your body gets the required energy to fight the infection. Trust me, some extra sleep will make it easier for your body to recover quicker. And even if it is not possible for you to spend the entire day in bed, you should try avoiding as much physical activity as you can. Try to get at least eight to nine hours of sleep every night. You can take it easy during the day. And while you are dealing with your fever, you should put your exercise routine on a temporary hold.
Try taking an over-the-counter medication
Want to know the easiest way to manage a fever? It’s over-the-counter, or OTC, medications that reduce fever. They can help you in various ways – from reducing your fever temporarily to helping you feel a bit more comfortable. You will be able to feel more like yourself. But remember to get plenty of rest, even if you start feeling better for some time after taking an OTC medication. Some of the most common OTC medications to reduce fever include – aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Children’s Advil), and acetaminophen (Tylenol, Children’s Tylenol)
By surrounding your body with cooler temperature can help in cooling it down, as your body is warmed up because of fever. But do not overdo it, and know when to stop. You should stop immediately if you start shivering, as it can cause your fever to rise. If you are looking to safely cool off, consider these things –
- Sitting in a bath of lukewarm water. Even lukewarm water will feel cool because of the fever. Do not use cold water, as it can cause more problems instead of helping you.
- You can also give yourself a sponge bath with lukewarm water.
- Consider using a fan to keep air circulation.
- Drink plenty of water (room temperature)
- Wear light clothing, like light pajamas.
- When you have chills, try avoiding using too many extra blankets.
- Eat popsicles.
Try herbal remedies
A lot of people try herbal remedies for fever treatment at home. Many people believe that these remedies work well for humans. But, due to the lack of reliable evidence, it is advisable to avoid these remedies in children. Also, you should talk to your doctor once before using herbal remedies. And when you are trying any supplement, do go through the manufacturer’s instructions.
The bottom line
You need to understand that a viral fever is not something to worry about a lot. Usually, you will get through a viral fever on your own. But if you have any unusual symptoms or your fever does not go away within a few days, you should call your doctor.