The symptoms of Lyme disease can be categorized in three stages–the early stage, the second stage, and the third stage which is usually called chronic Lyme disease. The earlier stage typically displays a rash with other flu-like symptoms; the second stage, with developing and continuous conditions felt during the earlier stage; and the third stage, with indications involving arthritis, neurological problems, and other conditions.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted through a tick bite, which can normally be treated with antibiotics. There are cases wherein the infection can cause complications and long-term disabilities when not immediately treated or when the disease persists despite medication. To help you avoid this unwanted condition, it helps a lot to be aware of the stages, from early to chronic Lyme disease symptoms.
The early stage of Lyme disease lasts the first four weeks after getting bitten by an infected tick. One of the symptoms of Lyme disease at this point includes a red circular rash called erythema migrans, described otherwise as bull’s eye rash at the site of the tick bite. There are quite a number of patients, though, who do not display the rash following their tick bite, so you need to be aware of the other signs. These include flu-like symptoms, such as headache, muscle ache, fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes. When you know you have been bitten by a tick a few days or weeks before the onset of such symptoms, immediately consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and immediate treatment to avoid complications.
When Lyme disease is not treated immediately or no symptoms have shown during the early stage, Lyme disease can develop into second stage. This usually occurs between one to four months after the tick bite. Symptoms in this stage include joint pains, more headaches, more muscle pains, numbness in arms and legs, fainting, tiredness, poor concentration, poor memory retention, and conjunctivitis.
Third stage, or Chronic Lyme disease
In most cases of the elderly and those who are not healthy, Lyme disease can develop into chronic Lyme disease. This later stage in Lyme disease could also be caused by very late diagnosis and treatment of the infection or persistent infection despite medication. During this time, symptoms are worse than you may imagine and include:
* Arthritis–In the later stage of Lyme disease, you may develop arthritis. You will experience redness, swelling, and pain in your joints, as well as stiffness of your shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees, as well as in smaller joints.
*Neurological problems–You will experience worsening neurological problems that have developed during the second stage. You may feel more severe numbness in your arms, legs, and in other parts of your body, accompanied with itching and burning sensation. More headaches may be felt, as well as problems with speaking, memory loss, depression, anxiety, and panic. Other neurological signs also include Bell’s Palsy or facial nerve paralysis and aseptic meningitis.
* Other conditions–Other serious symptoms that come with chronic Lyme disease include chronic fatigue, heart inflammation, irregular heartbeat rate, ringing in the ears or tinnitus, hearing loss, visual dysfunction causing blurred vision, shortness of breath, fever, sweats,
Diarrhea, irritable bowel, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, and urinary frequency.
Studies say that Lyme disease rarely causes death. Chronic Lyme disease may not be life-threatening, but its symptoms and complications can be very serious. It is very important that you are aware of its symptoms during the earlier stages so you can treat it immediately and avoid unfortunate life-long outcomes.