Monday, July 15, 2024

A Look Into Lyme Disease: Ticks, Symptoms, and Treatment

Last updated Wednesday, June 26, 2024 00:47 ET , Source: kidshealth

For most people, life is relatively uneventful. You wake up, go to work or school, come home, cook dinner, get the kids to bed and then you do it all again.

New York, United States, 06/26/2024 / SubmitMyPR /

For most people, life is relatively uneventful. You wake up, go to work or school, come home, cook dinner, get the kids to bed and then you do it all again. Sure, the minor details change, like some folks are single, some don't have kids, and some may only work a few days a week. But most weeks are the same. However, sometimes illness strikes, and we become unwell. From the common cold to COVID-19 to the flu or gastro, we'll all catch a bug once in a while. Thankfully we can get treated by those who have completed RN to MSN programs, such as nurses.

However, some illnesses are a touch more serious than a respiratory infection or an upset stomach. One of those diseases is Lyme disease. But what is Lyme disease? This informative article will share about this nasty disease and how ticks transmit it. We'll also explore symptoms and various treatments. So continue reading to learn more about this topic because forewarned is forearmed.

What is Lyme Disease? And How is it Transmitted?

Lyme disease is an illness that is caused by a bacteria that is called borrelia burgdorferi. Human beings usually catch Lyme disease from the bite of a tick, which is a parasitic insect that feeds on blood that happens to be carrying the bacteria.

Ticks, nasty things that can carry borrelia bacteria, live throughout most of the United States of America. Lyme disease is the most common in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic states and the upper Midwest. It's also prevalent in Europe and southeastern and south-central Canada.

You're at risk of Lyme disease if you spend time where ticks happen to live, such as grassy, wooded, brushy areas like national and state parks. For instance, if you enjoy hiking, camping or hunting, you may be at more risk of being bitten by a tick than if you don't enjoy these activities. Taking safety measures and the proper precautions in these areas can lower the risk of contracting Lyme disease.

Tick Bite Signs

Let's spend some time discussing how to identify and spot a tick bite.

A tick bite may look like an itchy, small bump on your skin, very similar to a mosquito bite, which you're probably familiar with. However, just being bitten by a tick doesn't necessarily mean you have a tick-borne disease like Lyme. Most people will not notice they've had a tick bite unless it's particularly red or itchy.

Lyme Disease Symptoms

The symptoms of Lyme disease vary between individuals infected with it. They usually show up in three distinct stages. However, the stages can overlap and you may have stage 1, 2 and 3 symptoms all at once. Some people don't develop symptoms of the typical early stage and instead progress to the later stages. Let's go through the three stages now.

Stage 1

The early symptoms of Lyme disease typically occur within 3 to 30 days after receiving a tick bite. Stage 1 of Lyme disease has a limited set of symptoms. This is called early localized disease by medical and science professionals.

A rash is a common stage 1 symptom and a sign of Lyme disease, but it doesn't always occur. This rash is usually a single circle that slowly spreads from the local site of the tick bite. It can become clear in the center and look a bit like a bull's-eye or target symbol. The rash will often feel slightly warm to the touch, and it's usually not painful or itchy.

Other stage 1 symptoms can include headache, a fever, joint stiffness, muscular aches and pains, and swollen lymph nodes.

All of these symptoms are common in stage 1, but some people may only experience a few or none at all.

Stage 2

Without adequate treatment, Lyme disease can become worse. Stage 2 symptoms often appear within 3 to 10 weeks after a tick bite that infects you with the disease. Stage 2 is often more serious and widespread in the body. It is called early disseminated disease by professionals.

Stage 2 may include the stage 1 symptoms as described above. You may also experience an outbreak of rashes elsewhere on your body, and neck stiffness and pain. In addition to this, you may develop muscle weakness on your face, on one side or both. It can also cause an irregular heartbeat and pain radiating from your back and hips that will spread down to your legs. You'll also feel pain, weakness and numbing in your hands and feet or both. A painful swelling can arise in the tissues of your eye and eyelids, and eye nerve pain can cause vision loss.

Stage 3

In the third stage, you may have symptoms from stages 1 and 2 and develop other symptoms. This stage is called late disseminated disease.

In the United States, the most common condition of this stage is inflammatory arthritis in large joints, particularly your knees. This pain, swelling, or stiffness can last for a long time, or the symptoms may come and disappear in waves. Stage 3 symptoms will usually begin 2 to 12 months after a tick bite.

The type of Lyme disease that is common in Europe can cause a severe skin condition called acrodermatitis chronic atrophicans. This is when the skin on the backs of your hands and the tops of your feet get discoloured and swell. This may also show up over your elbows and knees. More severe cases can cause lasting damage to tissues or joints.

Treatment for Lyme Disease

The good news is that Lyme disease can be treated with a course of appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of the disease, and you'll usually recover rapidly and completely after this treatment. The antibiotics most typically used to treat Lyme disease include medications called amoxicillin, doxycycline or cefuroxime axetil. With an early diagnosis and the proper antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease, doctors can help prevent more severe disease symptoms like those in stages 2 and 3.

The antibiotic used by a treating medical professional and the length of treatment depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Patient age

  • Any allergies

  • Pregnancy

  • Patient symptoms

Post-exposure Antibiotics After a Tick Bite?

In general, the Centre for Disease Control does not recommend antibiotics after tick bites to prevent tick-borne diseases. However, in specific circumstances, a single dose of doxycycline after a tick bite in a geographical area where Lyme disease is prevalent may lower the risk of contracting Lyme disease. If you notice a tick bite, ask your healthcare provider if antibiotics are appropriate for you and your circumstances.

In Summary

This informative article has covered all about Lyme disease, how ticks transmit it, the three stages of symptoms, and the treatment course. Now, you're an expert on this topic.

The expert opinions in this PR/Story are based on the source company's experience and knowledge. They do not reflect the views of the news distribution company or its partners. This article does not offer or recommend any medical treatment, product, or service. It should not be seen as medical advice. Consult your healthcare provider to determine suitability for your specific medical condition. The news distribution company and its partners do not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of information provided by the guest. Please contact the source company for further information.

Original Source of the original story >> A Look Into Lyme Disease: Ticks, Symptoms, and Treatment