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Everything You Need to Know About Lyme Disease Symptoms

Everything You Need to Know About Lyme Disease Symptoms

Lyme disease is a bacterial illness that is transmitted by certain kinds of ticks that pick up the bacteria when they feed off of deer or mice. Lyme disease is named after the city of Old Lyme, Connecticut. You can become infected with Lyme disease if you are bit by an infected tick. There are several tell-tale Lyme disease symptoms that show up if you have been infected with the disease.

Key Points

  • If you've been bitten by a tick, call your doctor even if you aren't experiencing the symptoms of Lyme disease.
  • The infamous bulls-eye rash occurs in most cases, but not all.
  • The best treatment for Lyme disease is prevention. Use tick repellent, apply tick prevention to your outdoor or indoor/outdoor pets, and wear long sleeves and pants when needed.

Lyme Disease Symptoms

It's important to realize that just because you get infected with the bacteria doesn't mean that you will get sick. Lyme disease may not take hold in your body. Some of the first Lyme disease symptoms to look out for are a headache, chills, muscle pain, fever, and a general feeling of lethargy or laziness. You will feel very drained, like you have no energy.

There are other Lyme disease symptoms you'll want to look out for. While it doesn't occur in all cases, a significant number of cases involve a bulls-eye rash. It's a red rash that is 1 to 3 inches wide with a clear center area. It resembles a bulls-eye, hence the name, the bulls-eye rash.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should visit a doctor for medical treatment as soon as possible. If you have recently been bitten by a tick, you need to let your doctor know so they can look for Lyme disease symptoms. Even if you don't think you have Lyme disease, it's important to talk to your doctor. Your doctor may want to put you on a prescription treatment without symptoms, just in case.

It's important that you don't confuse the bulls-eye rash with the rash of Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness, or STARI. The rash of this disease is also a bulls-eye shape. STARI is spread by the lone star tick. If you notice any kind of bulls-eye rash on yourself, speak to your doctor immediately.

What is My Prognosis with Lyme Disease?

You can overcome Lyme disease with proper care, but you do need to seek proper care as soon as you notice any of these symptoms. Antibiotics are used to treat Lyme disease. Most patients will recover after a two-to-four week course of medication. Some patients may experience lasting complications; this is known as Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, or PTLDS.

PTLDS generally clears up within six months. Symptoms of PTLDS can include fatigue, difficulty thinking or concentrating, and pain. It is important that you seek treatment for Lyme disease as soon as possible to lower your risk of developing PTLDS.

Currently, there is no vaccine for Lyme disease. The best treatment is prevention. Wear long sleeves and pants when walking through or sitting in areas that may have ticks. Use tick repellent when needed. Check yourself for ticks after returning from a hike, camping, or any other activity where you may have encountered ticks. Avoid walking through areas with heavy vegetation when possible. Keep your lawn cut short. Apply tick preventative to any pets that go outside, and check them regularly. Make sure your dog is vaccinated against Lyme disease.

Do not take the content of this article as professional medical adviceIt's important to exercise due diligence when obtaining relevant information in matters pertaining to your health. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any medical decisions.

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