Lyme disease is a health issue caused by a bacterium carried by two types of tick, which is an insect commonly found in wooded areas. A tick must be present on the skin for at least 24 to 48 hours to transmit the bacterium. However, many people who develop Lyme disease do not remember being bitten by a tick, which means you need to pay attention to the symptoms regardless of whether you remember experiencing a bite.
In the United States, this disease is most common in the Pacific Northwest, Northeast, and Upper Midwest regions. In addition, people who spend time in wooded areas or who have pets who do are at an increased risk of contracting the disease.
Depending on when you catch the disease, your symptoms will vary. If you catch the disease early, you will most likely notice a ring-like rash that looks like a bulls-eye. The rash will not itch, though it might be warm to the touch. After about four weeks, the rash will dissipate on its own. However, many people who suffer from the illness never notice a rash at all.
At the second stage of the illness, sufferers can experience a variety of flu-like symptoms, including a sore throat, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fatigue, and changes in vision. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to notify your doctor right away if you think you have been exposed to any ticks. While these symptoms could be the sign of a less serious illness, it’s good to rule out Lyme disease as early as possible.
Once the disease progresses, those with Lyme disease might experience severe headaches, concentration difficulties, short-term memory loss, and a host of other brain disorders and cognitive problems. These are serious symptoms and should be addressed by a medical professional right away.
The treatment for Lyme disease is most effective when the illness is caught in an early stage, and it usually involves antibiotics. If you have chronic or more severe Lyme disease, you will most likely be prescribed intravenous antibiotics. Some symptoms, such as joint pain, can continue even after treatment has been completed, although doctors are not quite sure why this happens.
Lyme Disease Prevention
While medicine can treat Lyme disease, prevention is the best method to avoid the problems associated with the illness. If you live in an area with a high incidence of Lyme disease, you should cover up when you go outside to wooded areas, wearing long pants and shirts. It is also advantageous to use insect repellent when you go outside. Make sure you inspect yourself and your loved ones for ticks after you have been outside. And if you notice a tick on your skin, be sure to remove it with tweezers and contact your doctor. Ensure that you have removed the entire tick from your skin.
If you think you are suffering from Lyme disease, you will want to see a medical professional right away. Contact Prime Medical Associates in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, for an appointment with a trusted healthcare professional.