What Does A Fever Mean?

Thermometer.jpgUsually a symptom of an underlying condition, a fever is not an illness itself. Although you most likely don’t need to seek medical attention based solely on a fever, it is important to determine the cause of the fever. Many times, it is the body’s way of defending against an infection.

Fevers do not usually get high enough to be considered dangerous, although the body’s temperature can rise to a dangerous level with hyperthermia, an extreme temperature often caused by a heat-related injury. When the body is experiencing hyperthermia, it is no longer able to control its temperature.

So let’s take a look at what causes a fever in the first place:

  • Common infections like a cold or gastroenteritis
  • An infection of the ear, lung, skin, throat, bladder or kidney
  • Conditions that cause inflammation
  • Side effects of drugs
  • Cancer
  • Vaccines
  • Blood clots
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease

Treating a fever will vary depending on what is causing it. For instance, if the fever is being caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics would help treat it. Typically, over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol, Advil, Motrin and Aleve will alleviate a fever.

To determine the cause of a fever or if additional treatment is required, please visit your doctor.

At Denton Regional Urgent Care, we have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend as well.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

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Cold And Flu Survival Guide

WomanFluBed.jpgMost people contract at least two or three colds each year. In addition to colds, the flu plagues as many as 20% of Americans annually.  If you’re one of the unlucky people that gets either the cold or flu, you will be miserable for at least a couple of weeks. But the below survival guide can help you get through those awful weeks and to the other side of the cold or flu. 

Medication

Advil, Motrin, Tylenol and Aleve are all a great way to alleviate fever and pain if you’re suffering from the flu. Most people are worried about taking too many pills and end up under-dosing themselves. For adults who are healthy enough, Tylenol and ibuprofen should be alternated throughout the day and dosed according to the label directions. (Ibuprofen and naproxen work the same way and should not be alternated.)

Nasal Sprays

For a cold, stuffy noses can cause discomfort every day. Saline nasal sprays and oxymetazoline are a great solution for a stuffy nose, helping to clear out the nose. What’s better, nasal saline sprays can be used up to twice an hour, so you’ll be back to breathing better in no time. Doctors recommend using nasal sprays no longer than three days.

Fluids To Rehydrate

One of the most important things to remember when you’re sick is to hydrate. If possible, try to drink enough fluids so that your urine is either clear or light yellow. Milk and orange juice should be avoided when possible, as they tend to cause nausea.

If all else fails, make yourself some chicken soup. Studies show that chicken soup actually reduces the migration of a certain white blood cell that’s believed to produce symptoms of the flu.

If you’re suffering from cold or flu symptoms, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend. 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

6 Symptoms of an Upper Respiratory Infection

iStock-621258770.jpgWhile one of the most common reasons for doctor visits, upper respiratory infections are often confused for something less severe since symptoms mirror many different illnesses. Upper respiratory infection is also the illness that causes the most people to miss school or work. But by identifying the symptoms early and receiving treatment in a timely manner, you can minimize the amount of time you’re sick and can get back to your daily routine in no time.

Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge and congestion
  • Fever
  • Scratchy or sore throat
  • Nasal breathing

In most cases, upper respiratory infections are contagious and can be spread when one person inhales fluids that are in the air from an infected person coughing or sneezing. The infection can also be spread when someone touches the nose or mouth of someone with the virus.

Treatment

If you have symptoms similar to those above, it is important to get plenty of rest and limit exercise and other physical activities. You should also make sure you’re staying hydrated. Depending on which symptoms are most severe, you may benefit from an antihistamine, cough medicine, a decongestant or steroids. A doctor will be able to determine which medication is best for you.

When To Seek Medical Care

While some people are able to recover fully without ever seeking medical care, many begin to experience a worsening of symptoms and have to see a doctor. If your symptoms last more than two weeks, become worse, you experience difficulty breathing, have difficulty swallowing or believe your infection has become chronic you should seek medical care.

If you’re suffering from symptoms that mirror an upper respiratory infection, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend.

 Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

Cold vs. Sinus Infection

iStock-453203163.jpgThe symptoms of a sinus infection and cold are very similar, making it easy to confuse the two illnesses. As similar as the symptoms are, treatment for both is quite different. Because of this, it’s important to properly diagnose what you have so that it can be treated effectively and you can heal quickly. Below are some of the main differences between a sinus infection and a cold.

Symptoms of a Cold

If you’re suffering from a cold, you will likely experience one or more of the following symptoms: sore throat, cough, headache, stuffy nose, build up of mucus, sneezing, fatigue, swollen sinuses and fever.

Symptoms of a Sinus Infection

Much like a cold, sinus infection symptoms include headache, cough, fatigue and a stuffy nose. In addition to these, sinus infection-specific symptoms are sinus pressure, thick yellow or green mucus, bad breath and a decreased sense of smell.

Treating a Cold

Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done to treat a cold as antibiotics can’t help a viral infection. There are some over-the-counter medications that can make you feel better, although they won’t do much to treat the illness. The best way to avoid getting a cold is to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated.

Treating a Sinus Infection

In most cases, a doctor should be the one to treat a sinus infection. He or she will likely prescribe an antibiotic, although steroids, decongestants and over-the-counter mucus thinners are also used commonly to ease the pain.

If you’re suffering from cold or sinus infection symptoms and believe you should see a doctor, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend. 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

Strep Versus Sore Throat

thyroid function examinationWe’ve all been there. You wake up with that burning sensation every time you swallow and all you want to do is eat something cold to soothe the pain. Most often, a sore throat from a cold will go away on its own within a day or two, but if you’re dealing with strep throat, you may be in for a much more miserable illness. So how do you know if what you have is a sore throat or strep throat? Comparing the symptoms of each is a good start.

  • Symptoms of Sore Throat

Sore throats, which are caused by either a virus or bacteria, are often accompanied by other cold symptoms. If your sore throat is caused by a cold, you will likely also experience a runny nose, cough, mild headache and body aches, fever and consistent sneezing.

  • Symptoms of Strep Throat

Strep throat is always caused by an infection of bacteria and has very distinct symptoms that can be easily diagnosed. If you’re suffering from strep throat, you will likely have a severe sore throat, loss of appetite, pain when swallowing, red tonsils with white spots and a fever.

  • Treating Sore Throat And Strep Throat

Because there is no cure for the common cold, there is no way to cure a sore throat caused by one either. Your best bet is to drink warm liquids, gargle warm salt water or take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

If you think you have strep throat, you should be tested immediately so treatment can begin. Once you’ve been diagnosed with strep throat, you will be given antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Antibiotics can be given as either a pill or a shot. Penicillin and amoxicillin are two antibiotics commonly used to treat strep throat.

If you are experiencing symptoms of strep throat, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend. 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

What You Should Know About Flu Shots

Fall is Flu Shot Season

Between the months of October and May, catching the flu is a major possibility. With germs easily spread throughout classrooms, daycares and offices, it is easy to catch the viral infection. And, with symptoms including fever, chills, muscle aches and fatigue, the flu can leave you out of pocket for weeks.

To prevent catching the flu, you should consider getting the flu vaccine. While many people avoid getting the flu shot because they’re worried they will catch the flu (which is not possible), it is one of the only ways you can truly prevent getting sick. Here is everything you need to know about the flu vaccine to help ease your mind.

  • Who can get the shot?

Anyone 6 months of age or older should get the flu vaccine. Even women who are pregnant or people with chronic health conditions are safe to get the shot.

  • Who should avoid the shot?

Those younger than 6 months of age and those with life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or any of its ingredients should avoid getting the shot.

  • How effective is the shot?

Although the effectiveness can vary, studies show that the vaccine reduces the risk of getting the flu by about 50-60% among the overall population.

  • Does the shot work the same for everyone?

The short answer is no. Although the vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, how well it works depends on how well the vaccine matches the flu virus and the overall health and age of the person. However, despite the health of the individual, flu shots should always provide some level of protection.

  • Are there any risks?

Many people worry they will catch the flu from the vaccine, which is not possible. Actually, the flu shot has very few risks. Very rarely, people will experience muscle pain or a feeling of discomfort after receiving the vaccine, but this usually lasts no more than two days.

If you want to get the flu vaccine, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the quality care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend. 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

5 Common Fall Illnesses

Sick ill woman in autumn park sneezing in tissue.

The cold weather associated with the fall and winter seasons are prime times for various medical conditions. While there are actions you can take to help prevent getting sick this time of year, sometimes it just happens. Knowing what illnesses are most prevalent during the fall is key to diagnosing early.

Flu

Typically peaking between November and February, the flu commonly results in fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, fatigue and sometimes vomiting. The flu is spread via droplets made when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes or talks. Those infected are contagious one day before symptoms appear and up to 7 days after becoming sick. In most cases, the flu is treated using influenza antiviral drugs.

Common Cold

While ultimately harmless, the common cold can be miserable. Over the course of a year, people in the United States develop 1 billion colds. Known by a sore throat, stuffy nose, coughing and sneezing, the common cold is spread by touching your eyes or nose when germs are on your hands. While there is no cure for the common cold, treatment may include getting rest, drinking plenty of water, using cough drops and taking cold medicine.

Allergies

When your immune system overreacts to an allergen (this could be something as harmless as plant pollen, dust mites or food), you experience allergies. Certain allergies become worse during certain times of the year. Common allergy symptoms include skin rash, headache, sneezing, runny nose, nausea and diarrhea. While someone who suffers from allergies will likely never be completely rid of them, there is medication that can usually help, depending on the type of allergy he or she suffers from.

Sinusitis

When sinuses become blocked and filled with fluids, germs can cause an infection, known as sinusitis. This blockage can be caused from a number of things, including the common cold, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps and a deviated septum. Facial pressure, stuffy or runny nose, loss of smell and congestion are all symptoms of sinusitis. An antibiotic is sometimes recommended if the symptoms have been persistent and a bacterial infection is suspected for sinusitis treatment, although a warm compress and over-the-counter decongestants can sometimes help.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Commonly referred to as SAD, seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression experienced when the seasons change. Normally, the disorder begins in the fall and continues into the winter. Those experiencing SAD will likely feel depressed and hopeless every day, have low energy, be easily agitated, lose interest in activities and experience difficulty concentrating. Most often, light therapy will help for SAD, although sometimes antidepressants are prescribed.

If you’re experiencing a seasonal illness like any of the above, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care for a proper diagnosis. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend. Be sure to check in online at dentionregionalurgentcare.com! 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.