When To Worry About Fever in Adults

fever in adult thermometer

A fever is a temporary rise in body temperature, and a sign that your body is battling an illness or infection. There is generally no cause for concern, but certain situations warrant a trip to the doctor– or even the emergency room. Learn when it’s time to seek treatment.

Normal body temperature ranges from 97°F to 99°F. If your core body temperature rises above this, you may have a fever. Additional signs and symptoms include sweating, chills, shivering, headache, and muscle aches. Loss of appetite, irritability, dehydration and general weakness are also common.

When and Where To Seek Treatment

Most fevers go away on their own within a few hours to days as your body beats the infection. If your fever lasts longer than 3 days, it’s important to see a doctor. A recurrent fever, however slight, may be a sign of a more serious condition. An urgent care center is a quick, convenient place to seek treatment for mild fevers.

Head into our clinic if your fever…

  • Is higher than 102°F
  • Lasts more than 3 days
  • Continues to worsen and will not break
  • Is accompanied by:
    • Discomfort
    • Ear pain
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Sore throat

Our friendly medical team will perform a physical exam, and ask questions about your symptoms and medical history. The provider may order blood tests or a chest X-ray, as needed, to determine the cause of your fever. If your fever is due to a bacterial infection, we can prescribe antibiotics for treatment. Walk in today for fast, affordable care. No appointment necessary.

When to Seek Emergency Care

Head to the ER or call an ambulance for fevers with the following symptoms:

  • Severe headache
  • Skin rash
  • Unusual sensitivity to bright light
  • Stiff neck or neck pain
  • Mental confusion
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing or chest pain
  • Abdominal pain or pain when urinating
  • Convulsions or seizures

How To Use Antibiotics Responsibly

Antibiotics are life-saving drugs that treat bacterial infections and prevent serious complications of disease. Unfortunately, these medications are becoming increasingly ineffective due to a phenomenon called antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces, or totally eliminates, the effectiveness of the medication designed to kill them. Bacteria will naturally develop resistance, but the misuse and overuse of antibiotics are speeding up the process at a concerning rate.

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are difficult to treat and lead to an array of healthcare issues, including more serious illnesses, longer recovery times, more frequent or longer hospitalizations, more doctor visits, and more expensive treatments. According to the Mayo Clinic, “approximately 2 million infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria occur in the United States each year, resulting in 23,000 deaths.” These are some scary statistics, but there are steps we can all take as individuals to help prevent antibiotic resistance.

Use antibiotics responsibly:

  • If you’re suffering from a viral illness, antibiotics won’t cure the infection or help you feel better. Talk to your doctor about other medications that will be effective and beneficial for your recovery.
  • Take prescribed antibiotics exactly as directed. It’s critical to complete the full course of medication, even if you start to feel better. If even one bacterium survives an antibiotic treatment, it can multiply and pass on its resistant properties.
  • Never take leftover antibiotics for a later illness. It may not be the appropriate antibiotic, and it won’t be a complete course.
  • Preventing infection altogether can also help reduce antibiotic use and resistance. Practice good hygiene and follow food safety guidelines.
  • While viral Upper Respiratory Infections tend to have more severe symptoms and last longer than an average ‘cold’, antibiotics are not the answer. The medication will be ineffective and will also kill off good gut bacteria that are important to your health! It’s best to let your immune system do the work. Please follow your doctors’ advice and communicate if signs and symptoms get much worse.

Why Am I Coughing?

woman holding tissue over mouth while coughingA cough is a natural reflex that occurs when your body senses an irritation in your throat or airway. The muscles in your chest and abdomen contract to expel air and hopefully, the irritant. While coughing can be uncomfortable, it’s your body’s natural defense against things like mucus, dust, pollen, mold, and smoke.

There are many illnesses and conditions that can cause a cough reflex. If you’re “hacking up a lung” and wondering why, it’s important to consider the characteristics of your cough. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  • When does my cough occur? At night, while exercising, after eating?
  • How long have I been coughing? When did it start?
  • How does my cough sound and feel?
  • Does my coughing cause other symptoms, such as sleeplessness, urinary incontinence, dizziness or fainting, headaches?
  • Does my cough produce mucus?

Your answers to these questions can help you and your doctor pinpoint the source of your cough. Acute coughs–those lasting less than 3 weeks–are usually associated with cold, flu, pneumonia, exposure to irritants, or whooping cough. If a cough lasts longer than 8 weeks (or 4 weeks for children), it is considered chronic. Chronic coughs are often attributed to allergies, asthma, bronchitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or postnasal drip.

It may be difficult to decide when to seek medical attention for a cough. Head to our clinic for a professional evaluation if you are experiencing:

  • a cough lasting more than a few weeks
  • shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • cough with symptoms of fever, chills, sweating, or ill appearance
  • painful cough
  • a cough that produces green, yellow, or foul smelling phlegm

We recommend that any cough associated with worsening symptoms, especially in children, be evaluated after 7 days.

Get prompt care for coughing at our clinic today!

Seek emergency care if you or your child has a cough with symptoms of blood-tinged phlegm, chest pain, difficulty breathing, choking or vomiting.

Deciding Where To Go For Flu Treatment

Flu can range from a minor inconvenience to a life-threatening illness, and it can be tough to know just when it’s time to seek professional care. Read up on our quick tips for deciding where to go for flu treatment.

First off, it’s important to recognize flu symptoms. Mild to moderate influenza causes symptoms such as:

women under bed covers deciding where to go for flu treatment

  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

For a mild case of influenza, you’ll likely only need a bit of rest and plenty of fluids to recover, but it’s still a good idea to get checked out– and sooner rather than later. Antiviral medications work best when taken promptly! If you’re having trouble booking an appointment with your Primary Care Provider, an urgent care center is a great option for immediate, comprehensive care.

Just walk into our clinic when it’s convenient for you and our medical team can provide a quick flu test to confirm influenza. We are also able to prescribe medication, perform X-rays, administer IV fluids, and complete blood work as needed.

If you or a loved one is exhibiting severe flu symptoms, you should head right to the Emergency Room. Severe symptoms include:

  • Chest Pain
  • Confusion
  • Respiratory Distress or Difficulty Breathing

High-risk groups, such as infants, the elderly, women who are pregnant and individuals with medical conditions that affect their ability to fight infections, should also be treated in the ER.

Remember, the emergency room should be reserved for true emergencies. When you’re dealing with mild to moderate symptoms, check in with your Primary Care or try an urgent care. You’ll save time and money, and free up the ER for patients who truly need that level of care.

We hope this guide helps you in deciding where to go for flu treatment. Feel free to call us with any questions, and know we’re here when you need care!

How to Manage Your Child’s Case of Pink Eye

girl with hands covering face due to pinkeyeAs kids head back to school and communal settings, they face an increased risk of catching a contagious illness. Pink eye, in particular, spreads rapidly through classrooms and playgrounds. Learn what to do if infectious pink eye makes an appearance in your household.

Pink eye (AKA conjunctivitis) is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that lines the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. This inflammation makes the blood vessels in your eye more noticeable, and gives the eye the telltale reddish pink appearance. According to the National Eye Institute, about 3 million cases of pink eye occur in the United States each year!

Symptoms may affect one or both eyes, and include:

  • Reddish or pink appearance of the eye
  • Eye discomfort, itchiness or grittiness (a feeling of sand in the eye)
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Swelling and/or crusting of the eyelid
  • Tearing
  • Sensitivity to light

If your child is suffering from any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to head to the doctor.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Pink eye can be caused by the same viruses responsible for common colds, sinus infections, and sore throats, and also by the bacteria behind chlamydia and gonorrhea. Allergies or environmental irritants can also cause conjunctivitis, and in these instances, the condition is not contagious.

Treatment for conjunctivitis depends on the root cause. Get a fast diagnosis and proper care at our clinic today. Our medical team will perform an eye exam, review symptoms and go over recent health history to help determine an underlying cause. If the infection is due to a bacteria, your child may need antibiotic eye drops or ointment. If allergies are the culprit, the provider might prescribe an anti-allergy medication. Viral conjunctivitis will usually clear up on its own in a few days, but cool or warm compresses and acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve discomfort.

Kids with contagious conjunctivitis should be kept out of school and childcare until the contagious stage has passed (usually 3-5 day) . Be sure to wash your hands well after touching a child’s infected eye and avoid sharing items such as eye drops, tissues, washcloths, towels, and pillowcases. It’s also important to clean and sanitize common toys, table tops, drinking fountains, faucet handles, and other surfaces.

Visit our clinic when you need fast, affordable pink eye treatment and advice.