Lyme disease is generally transmitted by a few species of tick, primarily the Ixodes tick or deer or black-legged tick. Lyme disease is quite prevalent on the East Coast but it exists around the world and all over the United States. Ticks typically like areas which are grassy or wooded. Every year about 300,000 different individuals are diagnosed with the bacterial infection that is Lyme Disease, but it is believed that this number is actually inaccurate. Many people who have Lyme Disease are often misdiagnosed because it can carry many of the same symptoms as other conditions.
Lyme disease can affect anyone but those most vulnerable are older adults and children. The more time a person spends outside where these ticks live, the more likely they may get infected with Lyme Disease. Understanding the symptoms of Lyme Disease is crucial since it is frequently misdiagnosed. It is also best to catch the condition early for the best treatment results.
There are a few early symptoms which may help you to detect the problem early on. The infamous bull’s-eye pattern rash often appears 3-30 days after an infected tick bite. Usually, the rash expands and can even become a foot wide. Not everyone with Lyme Disease will have this type of rash, but if you do it is usually a pretty tell-tale sign. Some people will develop a different kind of rash whereas others may not show any sign of rash at all. Another early indicator is flu-like symptoms, including fatigue, chills, fever, nausea, and body aches.
If Lyme Disease goes untreated there are additional symptoms which may manifest. These often spring up weeks or months after the infected bite. Other Erythema migrans or bull’s-eye rashes may start developing on other areas of the body. Joint pain is another symptom of Lyme Disease and for this reason, some people misdiagnose Lyme Disease as arthritis. The pain and swelling are most prevalent in knees but it can move from joint to joint. Over time it is also possible for Lyme Disease to affect the brain; this may not be for years after the infected bite, or it may only be weeks. Lyme Disease sometimes causes impaired muscles movement, weakness or numbness in limbs, Bell's palsy, and inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain. It isn't surprising that it is sometimes misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and other conditions.
Aside from these more prevalent indicators, there are other signs and symptoms of Lime Disease which are less common. Irregular heartbeat and other generally temporary heart problems sometimes accompany Lyme Disease but they don't generally last very long. Liver and eye inflammation along with severe fatigue are other more rare symptoms of Lyme Disease.
Lyme Disease may be tricky to diagnose for a few different reasons. Aside from the fact that symptoms of Lyme Disease may be almost identical to other conditions, some people may test negatively even if they do have Lyme Disease. Other people may test positive for Lyme Disease but actually, have some other kind of bacterial illness.