Lyme Disease Testing Q&A
If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms that come with having Lyme disease, come to Express Healthcare for treatment. Request an appointment online by calling us. For more information, visit us at one of our convenient locations in College Park MD, New Carrollton MD, Falls Church VA, and Berwyn Height, MD.
Table of Contents:
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, and in rare cases can be caused by Borrelia mayonii. The main method of transmission to humans is via the bite of a black-legged tick. Common symptoms include erythema migrans (patchy skin rash), fatigue, fever, and headache. Thankfully, there are treatments available for Lyme disease.
Prognosis is superb and most patients recover completely if treated early. Appropriate oral or intravenous antibiotics can combat infection and supply symptomatic relief. Sometimes a recurrent infection can occur with certain strains but is often managed well with medication. Co-infection by other organisms transmitted by an equivalent tick bite also can occur which can require treatment. Careful examination of the body, especially hair-bearing areas to get rid of attached ticks, is required.
• Personal and environmental measures to avoid ticks, other insects, and mice.
• Removal of attached ticks from self, children, and pets (remove them by the head, as pulling on the body can leave the head inside the skin).
• Professional management of tick infestation at home.
See your health care provider immediately if you become ill within a couple of weeks of a known tick bite. And even if you are not sure if you have been bitten by a tick — but have the symptoms of Lyme disease and are within the great outdoors — you should plan to visit your healthcare provider. Immature deer ticks cause most infections as they are incredibly small and bite most people without them being aware of it.
Shortly after infection, Lyme disease can cause:
• Muscle and joint pain
• Swollen lymph nodes
• A bull’s-eye-shaped rash at the location of the bite, which may appear within a couple of days or up to a month after the bite
The infection usually goes away quickly without long-term problems if Lyme disease is caught and treated early. That’s why it’s important to meet with your health care provider promptly if you’ve got Lyme disease symptoms, even if you do not think you have been bitten by a tick.
Signs of Lyme disease that appear between 3-30 days after being bitten by a tick may include:
• Swollen lymph nodes
• Joint/muscle aches
Signs of Lyme disease that become apparent days to months after being bitten by a tick include:
• New EM rashes on other body parts
• Short-term memory issues
• Nerve pain
• Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
• Shooting pain in the hands or feet
• Brain or spinal cord inflammation
• Severe headaches and neck stiffness
• Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on both or one side of the face)
• Irregular heartbeat, or heart palpitations
• Episodic shortness of breath or dizziness
• Intermittent joint pain, muscle pain, tendon pain, and bone pain
Lyme disease can go through several stages. It may cause different symptoms, depending on how long you have been exposed to the infection and where in your body the infection has spread.
Stage 1: Early localized Lyme disease (1 to 4 weeks after initial infection)
Developing days to weeks after becoming infected is when early localized Lyme disease begins. In many cases of Lyme disease during this stage, the person doesn’t notice any symptoms.
Stage 2: Early disseminated infection (1 to 4 months after initial infection)
Within weeks to months after the initial infection, if Lyme disease isn’t found and treated while early symptoms are present, or if you do not have early symptoms that trigger the necessity for treatment, the infection may affect the joints, heart, and skin and nervous system.
Stage 3: Late persistent Lyme disease
If Lyme disease isn’t quickly or effectively treated, months or years after you become infected can cause damage to the nerves, joints, and brain. It is the final and most serious stage of the disease.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting symptoms of Lyme disease or believes they have come into contact with it, come to Express Healthcare today! Our kind and compassionate staff are experienced in treating Lyme disease and can help you find relief! Contact our office today to talk with a member of our specialist team. Visit us online or simply give us a call to book an appointment! We serve patients from College Park MD, New Carrollton MD, Falls Church VA, Berwyn Height MD, Acredale MD, and Old Town MD.