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Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is the most common illness transmitted between insects and humans. It can cause a wide range of symptoms that vary in their severity. If you begin to experience any of these symptoms as the weather starts to warm up, visit AFC Urgent Care Springfield. Our physicians can analyze your symptoms and recent activity to give you a proper diagnosis

Symptoms of Lyme

The following symptoms can show anytime between 3 to 30 days after the tick bite occurs. On average, symptoms begin within seven days. Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches are all common Lyme symptoms. In 70% – 80% of patients, a red bullseye rash can appear. It can appear anywhere on the body, not just where a patient was bit and is sometimes warm to the touch, but overall not painful. It can reach up to 12 inches in diameter. These are all initial symptoms of Lyme.

Later symptoms can appear within months of the tick bite. Symptoms can include:

  • severe headaches or a stiff neck
  • severe joint pain, especially in the knees
  • irregular pain in tendons, joints, or muscles
  • heart palpitations
  • facial palsy, where part of or the whole face droops 

Lyme disease is not contagious among humans. Pregnant mothers cannot transmit Lyme to the fetus or through breast milk. 

Treatment

It is easier to treat Lyme disease the earlier you catch it. It can be treated with a 10-day antibiotic prescribed by your doctor. Once the antibiotic is completed, an additional oral regimen is often prescribed for 14 to 28 days. If Lyme is caught in the later stages, a 28-day antibiotic is prescribed. 10% – 20% of cases still experience symptoms even after finishing all of the medication. This is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. 

The best way to avoid getting Lyme is by avoiding getting bit. Avoid areas with tall grass or weeds, and wear closed shoes and long pants when in these areas. Hiking or walking in the woods are common causes of patients getting bit by ticks. 

Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome

Post-treatment Lyme symptoms include fatigue, difficulty sleeping, pain or swelling in knees, shoulders, or elbows, short-term memory problems, or speech problems. It can take months to years for patients to recover from post-treatment Lyme disease. Treatment focuses primarily on easing pain and managing the severity of symptoms. There is no reason why some patients develop post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, and others don’t. It’s believed that the bacteria in Lyme can trigger an auto-immune response that causes symptoms to last for months to years after exposure.