Lyme disease is a serious infection that may have debilitating consequences when left undiagnosed and untreated. Elyssa Blissenbach, MD, Lea-Anne Griffis, APRN, and the experienced team at Northeast Florida Internal Medicine in Jacksonville, Florida, specialize in diagnosing Lyme disease. Dr. Blissenbach is a Lyme literate medical doctor (LLMD) and can make sure you get the right diagnosis and care. To find out more about Lyme disease, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans through the bite of a tick with the infection. Deer ticks are the primary source of the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
Anyone can get Lyme disease. But you’re at greater risk of getting a tick bite and potentially infected if you spend a lot of time outside in grassy or woody areas. Ticks may bite and latch onto any part of your body but prefer hard-to-see spots like your scalp or groin. Infection usually occurs when the tick stays latched on for a few days.
Lyme disease symptoms vary, but when left untreated, the bacteria can spread to the heart, joints, and nervous system.
Lyme disease usually starts as a red rash at the site of the tick bite. This rash may appear 1-4 weeks after the bite. It starts small and expands, looking like a bull’s eye.
Other symptoms of Lyme disease include:
When left untreated, the bacteria may cause neurological problems like Bell’s palsy (paralysis of the facial muscles) or meningitis. Some people may even develop psychological symptoms like depression or anxiety.
Early diagnosis and treatment increase your chance of a full recovery from Lyme disease.
The team at Northeast Florida Internal Medicine specializes in diagnosing Lyme disease. They first ask detailed questions about your symptoms and past medical history and then do a physical exam. They also order lab testing to check for evidence of the bacteria that cause Lyme disease in your blood or other body fluids.
The team at Northeast Florida Internal Medicine treats Lyme disease with antibiotics. The type and duration of your treatment depend on the severity of your illness and how long you’ve had the infection.
In some people, the team may recommend more than one round of antibiotics to completely eradicate the infection. They may also recommend physical therapy to relieve your aches and pains.
If you suspect you might have Lyme disease, call Northeast Florida Internal Medicine or schedule your evaluation online today.