Fever and common headache symptoms are not always a cause for concern. You should not ignore them entirely though, especially if they persist. In both adults and children, a severe headache and high fever can be your body’s way of hinting at larger health concerns.
Diagnosing Fever and Headache Causes Among Adults
Though there are several potential reasons you may experience a combination of fever and headache symptoms, one of the more common causes is a sinus infection orsinusitis. Sinusitis forms when the sinuses are blocked by fluid-causing bacteria, which leads to infection.
In addition to a headache (mainly felt in the forehead area) and fever, you may also experience:
- Pressure and pain around the face and eyes
- Thick, yellow discharge from the nose
- A cold that won’t go away or worsens
Medical professionals can usually determine if you have a sinus infection based on your medical history and a quick physical exam.
Another possible and more severe cause of headaches and fever is a central nervous system infection. Nervous system infections create a collection of infected fluid in the brain.
These infections induce fever and headaches as well as the following symptoms:
- Neck stiffness
- Feeling of lethargy
- Eye sensitivity
A scan of the brain is typically required to diagnose a nervous system infection. A healthcare professional will determine if you need this level of testing.
Diagnosing Children with Fever and Headaches
Children may exhibit fever and headache symptoms for a wide range of reasons. One common cause is the flu, which targets the throat, lungs, and nose. A child infected with influenza will exhibit symptoms such as fever and headaches but may also experience:
- Body pains
- Sore throat
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Dry cough, which later turns moist
- Runny nose
If your child’s flu-like symptoms last longer than two weeks — or they disappear only to reappear more severely — you should take them to see a healthcare provider immediately.
Medical professionals can usually diagnose the flu based on a patient’s symptoms, especially during peak flu season. Your healthcare provider may also use an influenza diagnostic test.
Your child could also be experiencing headaches and fever due to meningitis. This is an infection that affects the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Along with headaches and fever, the symptoms listed below are associated with meningitis:
- Neck stiffness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
When it’s Time to Call a Healthcare Professional
Often a fever is simply part of a viral infection that will clear up with rest, hydration, and over-the-counter medications. However, do not hesitate to call or visit a healthcare provider if you or your child are experiencing any of the above symptoms, especially if the symptoms do not improve in a few days.
Here at FastMed Urgent Care, our healthcare professionals work hard to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your symptoms. We also accept all major insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid so check out our insurance page to verify that your plan is accepted.
We’re open every day of the year, so come by the FastMed location near you to treat your fever and headache!
About Health: http://headaches.about.com/od/diagnosingheadaches/a/Headache-And-Fever.htm
Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies