What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is an illness that’s typically caused by bacteria carried by infected ticks. Lyme disease is treatable, but it can cause serious health problems if the individual waits too long to get treatment. Many people with Lyme disease don’t know they have it until their symptoms are advanced.
The most well known symptom of Lyme disease is a rash that looks like a bull’s-eye. The area directly around the tick bite may be red and raised and look like a normal bug bite. The rash often spreads in a circular pattern that’s lighter in the center and darker on the outer ring. However, not everyone who gets Lyme disease gets this rash.
Classic signs of early Lyme disease include:
- muscle aches
Symptoms can start at any time between three and 30 days after being infected. They are very similar to the flu symptoms.
Some people with Lyme disease experience other, more advanced symptoms of the illness. Joint pain, especially in the knees, and a stiff neck may arise in the early-symptom stage or many months after the tick bite. Severe headaches and shooting pain in the overall body may keep the person up at night. Dizziness and changes in the heart rate or rhythm are also advanced symptoms of Lyme disease.
Lyme disease that isn’t treated for several months can lead to more serious problems, including those that affect the nervous system and they may go untreated due to the confusion in the symptoms. For example people with Bell’s palsy sometimes look like they’ve had a stroke because they can’t move the muscles on one side of their face. Movement problems, especially in the arms and legs, can also occur.
Heart problems and inflammation of the eyes and liver are rare but possible in late-stage Lyme disease.
Some people experience chronic symptoms of Lyme disease even after several weeks of antibiotic treatment. Although the bacteria have been eliminated from the body, the symptoms of Lyme disease may linger. This can include:
- short-term memory problems
- joint or muscle aches
Lyme disease can have serious effects on the individual’s health, especially if it is diagnosed late.
On the other hand, people with advanced Lyme disease may take longer to recover their balanced state, yet if well supported, most individuals can eventually achieve