Do I Have Lyme Disease?

Tick bites are something that you should always try to avoid, but the possibility of getting Lyme disease makes tick bites even scarier. Certain black-legged or deer ticks are carriers of Lyme disease, and if they bite you, you may be a carrier of the disease too. Lyme disease affects more than 200,000 people in the US every year.

AFC Urgent Care Stoneham can diagnose and provide treatment for Lyme. The best way to avoid any symptoms is to get immediate care for tick bites. Visit us today.

Early Signs of Lyme

Early signs of Lyme disease will begin 3-30 days after you’re bit by an infected tick. Roughly 70% to 80% of infected people will develop an erythema migrans rash. This rash can vary in appearance from one person to the next but usually appears in a circular area in a bullseye design. The original bite will be the center of the bullseye. The rash area will typically be red and may feel warm to the touch, but it usually doesn’t itch like other bug bites.

Other early signs of Lyme disease include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache

Advanced Signs

Undiagnosed and untreated Lyme disease will worsen over time. Symptoms can appear within weeks to months after the initial bite. Signs may include:

  • Nerve pain
  • Swollen joints
  • Loss of muscle tone in the face
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dizzy spells
  • Shortness of breath
  • Inflamed spinal cord

Diagnoses and Treatment

If a patient is displaying signs of Lyme disease, a medical care provider will assess the likelihood that the patient was bit by an infected tick. This will include considering the location and any recent outdoor adventures the patient has had. If the physician thinks it’s likely Lyme disease may be causing the patient’s symptoms, a blood test can be done to check for antibodies. If antibodies related to Lyme disease are present, this determines that the patient has Lyme disease. Antibody tests are not effective at diagnosing Lyme disease in the first couple of weeks after being bit since your body hasn’t had time to form the antibodies yet.

If you believe you may have Lyme disease, visit a provider at AFC Stoneham for further assessment and lab testing. A positive lab result can typically be treated with a course of prescription antibiotics and over-the-counter pain relievers to manage joint pain associated with Lyme disease. The longer you wait to start treatment for Lyme disease, the harder it may be to cure your symptoms. It’s better to go get checked and learn it was a normal tick bite than to let Lyme disease go untreated.