It’s National Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Time to Get Educated About the Impact of Lyme Disease.

Do you know what Lyme Disease is? More importantly, do you know its potentially devastating impact on the human body? While most people have heard of Lyme Disease, they too often don’t realize how incredibly debilitating this disease can be. The disease is transmitted from ticks infected with Lyme Disease to humans through the tick’s bite. The following information will shed light on exactly how important tick control in Columbia SC is.

Nymph ticks are sometimes as tiny as poppy seeds like the ones on a bagel.

This tick-borne illness is often referred to as “The Great Imitator” because its symptoms mimic many other diseases. It can affect any organ of the body, including the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, and the heart. Most human cases are caused by the nymphal (immature) form of the tick. Nymphs are approximately the size of a poppy seed, making it extremely hard to see them. Their bite is also painless, therefore, many people don’t realize they have been bitten. The longer the tick is feeding on its host (human), the higher the probability that the transmission of Lyme Disease will occur.

The symptoms of Lyme Disease are various and not always consistent, hence the nickname “The Great Imitator”. Early in the infection, many people experience flu-like symptoms that subside without any treatment. Some people get a circular rash around the site of the tick bite, the infamous bull’s eye rash. According to a recent article, 85% of people don’t recall the tick bite that infected them. Less than 70% of people develop any rash with less than 10% having the classic bull’s eye rash, and lab tests may even show up as negative for Lyme Disease in the first 4-6 weeks.

It is highly imperative that Lyme Disease is treated as early as humanly possible. Without quick treatments to combat Lyme Disease, it can spread deeper into your system and make the initial symptoms seem like a walk in the park. The later symptoms of this disease are much, much more severe. Here are the affects of later stage Lyme Disease:

  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Light or sound sensitivity
  • Bell’s palsy (Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop.)
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Depression, anxiety, or mood swings
  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea
  • Chest pain, heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tingling, burning or shooting pains

Left untreated, these symptoms can cause irreparable neurological, cardiovascular, reproductive and digestive system damage. With such a debilitating disease being carried by something the size of a poppy seed in our backyards, effective tick control should be taken seriously.