Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. The hallmark sign of Lyme is erythema migrans, also known as the “bull’s eye” rash. This rash has the appearance of a red ring with a clear center. However, not everyone develops this rash, which makes Lyme disease hard to diagnose. Lyme is considered a “Great Imitator” because the features of the disease can result in such nonspecific symptoms and may be confused with a number of other diseases.
Initially symptoms of Lyme disease consist of flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain. In later stages of Lyme disease, you start to see neurological symptoms such as severe headaches, difficulty with memory, pain, numbness and tingling, facial weakness, visual disturbances, tinnitus, hearing loss, stiff neck, irritability, anxiety, depression, mood swings and sleep disturbances.
Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics under the supervision of a physician. Most individuals with Lyme disease respond well to antibiotics and have full recovery.
Caroline Pruski, NP