What Is Lyme Disease? Symptoms And Prevention

By Avni Porwal

A spread and an occurrence of a disease due to bacterial infection mainly by deer ticks are known as Lyme disease. It is a false notion on the part of people that Lyme disease is found only in the states of the eastern part of the United States of America like Georgia, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina to name a few. Rather this disease is found in all parts of the United States of America. This disease is also found in more than sixty other countries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 300,000 people are having symptoms of Lyme disease in the United States every year, which is about 1.5 times the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the US.

what is lyme disease

Further, it is about 6 times the number of persons diagnosed with HIV/AIDS every year in the United States. However, many experts believe that the true number of cases of people showing symptoms of Lyme disease is much higher.

Lyme disease symptoms can be observed in people of all ages. The CDC notes that it is most common in children, senior citizens, etc., who are prone to infectious diseases very easily, as their immunity power is comparatively low.

How Is Lyme Disease Caused?

Lyme disease generates because of a spirochete, (a corkscrew-shaped bacterium) called Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme is known as a "Great Imitator," as its pattern resembles different diseases. It can have a damaging effect on any organ of the body, including the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, and the heart.

Patients with Lyme disease are most of the times diagnosed in a faulty manner with the error diagnosed report leading to symptom observations such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and various psychiatric illnesses, including depression. These misrepresentations in diagnosis with other diseases delay the correct diagnosis and treatments, as the Lyme disease as an infection within the body goes unnoticed in the observations of diagnosis.

Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

The various symptoms that can be observed in a person who's infected with Lyme disease are as follows:

  • Rashes: The rash occurs which is generally flat and not necessarily may itch. The rash is a symbol that the infection is spreading within one's skin. The rash swells and spreads and then gets well with time, without any treatment.
  • Fatigue: Tiredness, getting exhausted, and lacking in energy levels are the most regular symptoms observed of Lyme disease. This fatigue because of Lyme generally seems to take over the entire energy level of the body and can have a severe effect on one's body.
  • Ache, stiffness, swollen feeling in the joints: Pain of joints moves around. Sometimes, one's knees may hurt, whereas other times it's a person's neck or his heels which may hurt. The person may also have bursitis. Bursae are the thin cushions between the bone and surrounding tissue.
  • Headaches, dizziness & fever: Other common flu-like symptoms are headaches, dizziness, fever, muscle pain, and malaise. These symptoms also let one believe that the patient has acquired Lyme disease.
  • Night sweats & sleep disturbances: Sleep disturbances in Lyme disease symptoms are common. Joint pain might wake a patient at night. His body temperature might fluctuate, and night sweats or shivering can wake him. His face and head may feel flushed.

Other symptoms are like sensitivity to light and vision changes, neurological problems, fluctuations in mood, etc.

How to Prevent Lyme Disease?

Below mentioned are the ways that the Lyme disease can be prevented:-

  • Keep one's lawn properly pointed, shaped and beautified. Make a proper tick barrier between one's lawn and the taller grasses. Also, do add a deer fence to protect your garden.
  • Avoid exposure in wooded, overgrown grassy areas.
  • Persevere and thus stay on marked trails when hiking.
  • Stay out of tall grass & un-cleared areas of the forest floor.
  • One should wear protective clothing. Long sleeves, long pants tucked into socks and shoes should be worn by persons. One must avoid going barefoot or opting for open-toe sandals. Insect repellant like DEET on the body or Permethrin on the clothes should be used. Review safety information; assess the risks/benefits of these products.
  • Many doctors consider them unsafe for use on children. Use discretion and consult your doctor before using. Do not use on children under 3.
  • Remove ticks once found immediately by grasping them with tweezers and pulling them off from the skin. Prompt action should be taken.

Finally, it can be concluded that the Lyme disease is very dangerous with implications of the Lyme infection being very severe and hence it is better to always find out measures to prevent them rather than opting for curing after the patient has been infected with the bacteria in the body.

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