A fever can mean a multitude of things.
When you look at a list of symptoms for basically any health issue, you’re going to see “fever” near the top. It might signal a cold, the seasonal flu, or something much more sinister like a tumor or (as we’ve learned in 2020) COVID-19. In many cases, however, other than discomfort, a fever isn’t going to be the end of the world.
Today, we’re going to discuss how to tell if you have a fever. Not everyone has a thermometer in the house, so it’s important to be able to discern fact from fiction without the use of technology.
Feeling It Out
Let us first say that there are sophisticated tools for temperature measurement these days and if you want an accurate reading of your temperature, it’s not going to come from feeling it out.
But, you can easily tell if you’re running hot by using your hands, eyes, and other senses.
Using Your Hands
When you suspect that you’ve got a fever, you’ll probably feel a bit faint all over and flush in the face. Most people’s first reaction is to put their palm to their head to figure out if their forehead is hot to the touch. While using your hands to touch your forehead is the right move, it’s better to use the back of your hand, not the palm.
The palm is far less sensitive to temperature changes than the back of the hand is. If possible, it’s even better to get someone else to do it because they’ll be better able to sense if your temperature is drastically different than their own.
Looking In the Mirror
Another dead giveaway of fever is your general appearance. Not only will you feel hot inside and out, but your face will appear flush and red. Head to the mirror and take a look at your cheeks to see if they’re significantly redder than usual.
The cheeks become red likely because your body is trying to fight off whatever’s ailing it, which increases the blood flow and gives you the flushed look.
When you’ve got a fever and it’s serious, then other symptoms are probably close behind. A good way to tell if your raised temperature is actually a fever is by moving around a little bit.
Try walking briskly up some stairs or some other easy physical activity. If you become more winded than usual and you feel hot, weak, and flush, then you’ve likely got a fever. Fatigue is a telltale effect of a fever.
Learning How to Tell If You Have a Fever Can Prevent Harm
Most fevers are completely normal and will pass in a few days, but they can also be a sign of something much worse, which is why it’s important to learn how to tell if you have a fever. You can best gauge it by feeling out any other symptoms that arise, but if your fever lasts for more than a few days, you should see a doctor.
If you’ve currently got a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, you should get a COVID-19 test ASAP.
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