Early and Later Symptoms of Lyme Disease

November 12, 2012

Early and Later Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is potentially deadly disease of major concern for anyone that has ever been bitten by a tick. Tick bites are painless, but symptoms of Lyme disease are not. People who live near or on areas frequented by deer are at risk of getting bit by ticks carrying bacteria that causes Lyme disease. The bacteria does not cause harm to the tick. Lyme disease is treatable with antibiotics if caught early enough. Early Symptoms Early symptoms of Lyme disease can appear about 7 days after getting bitten by an infected tick but not appear until months after getting bitten. Common early symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Body aches

  • Headaches

  • Feeling run-down or more tired than usual

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Stiff and painful neck

  • Fever

  • Uncontrollable chills

  • A round, warm red or brick-pink rash at the location of the tick bite.

The most characteristic Lyme disease symptom is the rash, but only 75% of people with Lyme disease develop the rash. Early symptoms of Lyme disease may be confused with the flu or meningitis. Blood tests performed at this time often show false negatives for Lyme disease. Later Symptoms By the time later Lyme disease symptoms occur, it is much easier to diagnose the problem. These symptoms should never be ignored because they will not go away by themselves:

  • Full-blown meningitis

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Depression

  • Original rash becomes larger and partially fades, making it appear similar to a bulls-eye target

  • Rashes appearing on other places of the body

  • Arthritis-like stiffness and pain in the joints, especially in the knees

  • Inability to sleep due to unpredictable sharp pains that come and go

  • Quickening or slowing down of the heartbeat accompanies by dizziness

  • Numbness or a tingling sensation in one or both feet

  • Bell’s palsy or the inability to move the muscles on one side or the entire face.

If the disease is still left untreated, the heart and the joints can become permanently damaged. Cognitive skills like memory and recognition begin to get worse. Later symptoms of Lyme disease may last for years after the original bite. Lyme disease bacteria can become dormant for undetermined periods of time. At this time, the body produces distinctive antibodies that can be checked for in blood tests. Uncommon Symptoms of Lyme Disease Many Lyme disease patients get very unusual symptoms that most patients do not get. These symptoms include:

  • Feeling of invisible insects crawling over the skin

  • Chronic insomnia

  • Chronic migraines

  • Chronic urinary tract infections

  • Recurring ear infections

  • Constant tingling sensation in the ears

  • Inability to tolerate noises so that even soft noises seem painfully loud

  • Sudden bouts of anxiety when nothing is immediately threatening the patient

  • Pain in the testicles

  • Constant feeling of soreness or itchiness in the eyes

  • Learning problems

  • Loss of libido

  • Tinnitus

  • Chest pains

  • Vision problems such as double vision, blurred vision or seeing auras.

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