When Should You Seek Help for a Fever?

When Should You Seek Help for a Fever?

Dr. Nabil Salib and the team at MyDoc Urgent Care are well-known for their medical expertise and commitment to providing outstanding care to patients of all ages from four state-of-the-art immediate care facilities in New York.

Read what these experts have to say about rising temperatures and when it’s time to seek professional help for a fever.

Understanding fever  

Although the numbers can vary slightly from individual-to-individual and even according to the time of day or your age, the human body functions best at an internal temperature of about 98.6° Fahrenheit.

Your brain, specifically the hypothalamus, is responsible for monitoring and regulating body temperature. When your temperature climbs too high, the hypothalamus stimulates sweat and other protective measures to help cool you off.

An extremely hot environment, physical exertion, and even internal processes such as digestion can raise your temperature. 

Sometimes your hypothalamus raises body temperature by releasing certain substances (prostaglandins) in response to bacterial or viral infection. It’s believed that the higher temperature helps your immune system destroy these “invaders.”

Although fevers related to an illness are a temporary part of life for most of us, there are times when a significant increase or persistent elevation in body temperature is cause for concern.

When is a fever dangerous?

A significantly elevated body temperature can result in seizures, fainting, and even death. When determining the potential health risks associated with a fever, we generally consider three factors:

Whenever your temperature climbs above 104° F, it’s potentially dangerous. However, because babies and younger children have a much lower tolerance for variations in body temperature, even a change of fewer than two degrees is concerning for them.

Seek urgent medical care for fevers above:

Notably, adults over 65 tend to run a baseline temperature that’s naturally lower than 98.6 F. Thus, what might be rated as a mild fever in younger adults can signal a serious health concern for seniors. 

Consider other symptoms

Other symptoms to watch for when contemplating a trip to MyDoc Urgent Care for fever include:

Otherwise, we encourage you to see one of our urgent care specialists whenever you’re concerned about a fever or any other symptoms that worsen or don’t resolve as quickly as expected.

Also note that a fever occurring after exposure to extreme temperatures, such as sitting in a parked car on a sunny day or residing in a home/apartment without air conditioning, is a warning sign of heat stroke, which can quickly become fatal and requires emergency medical care.  

For your convenience, MyDoc Urgent Care is open seven days a week, and walk-ins are always welcome. You can also schedule a same-day doctor visit with a phone call or online appointment request if you prefer. We’re here to help! 

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