Fever is a medical condition characterized by an increase in the body temperature above the normal value of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It is normal for the body temperature to fluctuate during the day due to various factors such as strong emotional responses, environmental factors, medicaments, eating and various types of physical activities. The body commonly raises the temperature as a means of natural defense response to various different sorts of infections in order to kill all the harmful agents and prevent them from spreading even further. Fever is medically described as an oral temperature which is over 99 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be triggered by numerous different types of factors. If the fever lasts for more than two days and if it is accompanied by other serious symptoms, one should seek immediate medical attention.
Fever is commonly triggered by some sort of infection, so that is why it is accompanied by a number of other symptoms as well. Symptoms which accompany fever the most common include vomiting, sweating, skin rash, nausea, lethargy, dry skin, hot skin, general ill feeling, flushed face, earache, diarrhea, cough, chills, painful sensations and aches. There are also certain severe accompanying symptoms which may indicate life threatening medical conditions. Those conditions may or may not include severe headaches, confusion, severe vomiting, neck stiffness, seizures, choking, not breathing, wheezing, labored breathing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, extremely watery diarrhea, crying inconsolably, delusions, hallucinations, lethargy, delirium, confusion, unresponsiveness, passing out and blush coloration of the fingernails and lips.
Causes of Fever
The most common causes of fever include teething, connective tissue inflammatory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, urinary tract infections, appendicitis, pneumonia, influenza and such. Other possible causes of fever include stomach flu, ear infections, inflammatory conditions of the colon, viral respiratory infections, bacterial skin infections and bronchitis. Other less common causes of fever may also include systemic lupus erythematosis, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and arthritis. Certain rare, life threatening causes of fever may or may not include tuberculosis, septic shock, meningitis, epiglottis and brain abscesses.
Diagnosis and Complications
In order to diagnose the exact cause of fever the doctor needs to know when the fever started, how long it lasted, if it were constant or not and if it is accompanied by any other symptoms. The complications triggered by fever may or may not include dehydration (induced by vomiting and diarrhea) and sometimes even brain damage in some severe cases.