10 Common Symptoms of Lyme Disease You Should Know
Lyme disease is a tick-borne infectious disease that affects millions of people annually. While it can be cured with the right treatment, it is essential to diagnose Lyme disease early to avoid long-term health effects. The symptoms of Lyme disease are often similar to those of other illnesses, which makes early diagnosis challenging. In this article, we will be discussing ten common symptoms of Lyme disease to help you recognize it early.
A red, expanding rash, also known as erythema migrans, is one of the most common symptoms of Lyme disease. It can appear within three to thirty days after the tick bite. The rash typically spreads out in a circle or oval shape, expanding up to several inches in diameter. The center of the rash may clear up, giving it a bull’s-eye appearance.
2. Flu-like symptoms
In the early stages of Lyme disease, individuals often experience flu-like symptoms. These may include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain. These symptoms may occur with or without a rash.
3. Swollen Lymph Nodes
Swollen lymph nodes are also a common symptom of Lyme disease. These glands may become tender and swollen near the tick bite or rash.
4. Joint Pain and Stiffness
In later stages of Lyme disease, up to 60% develop arthritis affecting one or several large joints, particularly the knees. Joint pain and stiffness may also occur in the early stages of the disease.
5. Nerve Pain
Nerve pain and tingling sensations are common symptoms of Lyme disease, which typically affect the hands and feet. These symptoms may occur with or without a rash and often progress over time.
6. Heart palpitations
Lyme disease can also affect the heart, causing palpitations, chest pain, and shortness of breath. In rare cases, Lyme disease may lead to more severe heart conditions.
7. Eye Problems
Lyme disease can cause eye problems, which may include sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and eye pain. These symptoms are relatively rare and usually occur in later stages of the disease.
Fatigue is a common symptom of Lyme disease. It may occur in the early or later stages of the disease and can be a debilitating symptom that affects day to day life.
9. Cognitive Issues
Cognitive issues such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and confusion may also occur in the later stages of Lyme disease. These symptoms can be long-term and require specialized treatment.
10. Mood Changes
Mood changes such as irritability, anxiety, and depression may also occur in later stages of Lyme disease. These symptoms can be challenging to manage and can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life.
In conclusion, these ten common symptoms of Lyme disease are essential to know and recognize, as prompt treatment can prevent long-term health effects. Furthermore, it is essential to seek professional medical advice if you have been bitten by a tick or suspect that you may have Lyme disease. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, and avoiding tick bites through protective clothing and tick repellents could be the best way to avoid contracting Lyme disease.