We’ve all had those days where we felt drained, sick, and overheated. Sometimes we’re just worn down, but other times, our body is telling us something.

Body temperatures of 100.4°F and higher are medically considered to be a fever. This can be a symptom of something as simple as a 24-hour bug, or it can indicate a much more serious condition.

But what are the signs you have a fever? By knowing what to look for, you can be better equipped to know when you should see a doctor, or when some extra rest will suffice.

Read on to learn more about the signs you have a fever and what they could mean.

What is a Fever?

Because of our metabolism, body processes, and different environmental conditions, body temperature can fluctuate on a day-to-day basis. It’s also perfectly normal to have a body temperature that goes up and down throughout the day, too.

What isn’t normal, however, is a body temperature that goes about 100.4° F. This is what is known as a fever, and it could be a symptom of a variety of conditions that range in severity.

Before we get into the signs you have a fever, let’s take a deeper look at what a fever is and why it happens.

A fever is not a disease itself, but it is an indicator that your body is fighting some sort of infection or illness. Usually, when a fever occurs, it’s because of a viral or bacterial infection. Essentially, the fever is the body activating its immune system when these foreign bodies are present.

Other Causes of a Fever

While you’ll most often see signs that you have a fever if your body is dealing with some type of infection, other conditions can cause a fever as well.

Here are some other reasons you may be experiencing fever signs:

  • Heat-related conditions and/or heat stroke
  • Side effects from some medicines, such as blood pressure medications and antibiotics
  • Various autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Certain vaccinations

If you have concerns that you have a fever, be sure to check any medications you’re taking to see if fever signs are listed as a possible side effect. Otherwise, talk to your doctor to learn more about why you could be experiencing the signs of a fever.

Signs You Have a Fever: What to Look Out For

We’ve gone over what a fever is, but what are the signs you have a fever? Here are some of the most common ways you can detect a fever.

Abnormally High Temperature Reading

Fevers are most commonly discovered by using a thermometer to determine an exact body temperature reading.

Here are the devices you can use to get a body temperature reading:

  • Oral thermometers are great for determining signs you have a fever: these are inserted orally and usually take less than 30 seconds for an accurate reading
  • Ear thermometers determine body temperature by testing the temperature of the eardrum
  • Rectal thermometers give the most accurate readings but are the least comfortable option for testing body temperature
  • Forehead thermometers are easiest to take, which is great for children, but they aren’t the most accurate option

When the temperature surpasses 100.4° F, this is a key indicator that you have a fever.

Warm/Hot Forehead

This is one of the oldest and most well-known signs you have a fever: your forehead will be hot. To test with this method, use the back of the hand to feel the forehead of the individual. While it’s not an exact reading, you will often be able to tell if the person’s temperature is abnormally high.

This is usually ineffective when the ill person tries to feel their own head. For the most accurate perspective, another person should be the tester.

Flushed Complexion

Another one of the most common signs you have a fever is a flushed complexion. If cheeks have more color than normal, or if they have a pink or red hue, then this could point to a fever.

Signs of Dehydration

Although it doesn’t always point to it, dehydration can sometimes be included in the signs you have a fever. Check for signs of dehydration, such as darker color in urine or urinating less frequently than normal.

To test for dehydration, you can also pinch the back of your hand. If the skin doesn’t bounce back immediately, this is a good indicator of dehydration. Again, dehydration doesn’t always mean high temperature, so be sure to look for other signs you have a fever, too.

Other Symptoms

As previously mentioned, a fever is usually an indicator of some type of viral or bacterial infection. By looking at other symptoms, it can usually be determined whether or not a fever is present.

Here are some other symptoms to watch out for:

  • Muscles aches and soreness
  • Lethargy/fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sweating
  • Shivering
  • Lack of appetite
  • Chills
  • Flulike symptoms

Remember, a fever is just a sign of an infection, not an infection by itself. If you have other symptoms, you could have a fever as well.

Touchless Temperature Reading

In times of a global pandemic, it’s urgent to be able to read body temperatures quickly and easily, without any physical contact. Luckily, modern technology has provided a solution for these situations.

Touchless temperature reading devices use a heat camera to test the heat of a nearby person’s skin. This gives an accurate and fast reading without having to make physical contact with the person.

Apps like Dotty AR make it easy to read and store this information as needed. Then, they can access the information across multiple platforms and devices. This is especially useful for businesses that need to keep track of body temperature readings for guests and staff when national restrictions require it.

Determining a Fever

No one likes getting a fever, as this can often indicate illness or infection. By knowing what to look for, though, you can know when to seek treatment. Now that you know the common signs you have a fever, you’ll be better-equipped for self-diagnosis.

For more topics, check out our other blog entries.

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