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Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Caregivers in Wayland MA

As a family caregiver you know how important it is for you to detect any illnesses or conditions that your aging parent might face. This will help you to get your aging parent the care and treatment that they need to overcome these issues and resolve them in the best way possible.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year approximately 300,000 people are infected with Lyme disease. This bacteria is primarily transmitted through the bites of ticks, specifically the deer tick of the East Coast, and the black-legged tick of the West Coast. People on the coasts are not the only people who are potentially impacted by this disease. Though it is often viewed as an ailment of the East Coast, the reality is that this condition can and does happen throughout the United States and even in more than 60 other countries around the world. This means that regardless of where your aging parent lives, if they spend any time outdoors near wooded, grassy, or bushy areas, they are at potential risk of suffering a bite from one of these ticks and contracting the disease. Understanding the signs and symptoms of a potential Lyme disease infection can help you to get your parent the treatment that they need as quickly as possible, minimizing the potential of very serious effects that can occur.

Some of the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include:

  • Rash. A tell-tale sign of Lyme disease is a red rash that generally appears in the shape of a bullseye. This rash begins to appear between 3 and 30 days after the initial infection and will expand gradually over the course of several days. Though it can look very severe, this rash does not generally itch or hurt. Though there is a common perception that this rash appears only around where the bite actually occurred, some people will develop this rash on more than one part of the body and not necessarily where the bite happened.
  • Flu-like symptoms. Those suffering from Lyme disease are likely to experience chills, body aches, fever, headache, and fatigue much like they would when suffering the flu. These are common causes of misdiagnosis.
  • Joint pain. If the disease is not treated properly in the early stages, the sufferer may then experience periods of swelling and severe pain in the joints. These symptoms are most prominent in the knees.
  • Neurological issues. Some of the most severe symptoms of the disease can occur weeks, months, or years after the person is bitten by the infected tick. If not properly treated the person can experience inflammation around the brain, Bell’s palsy characterized by paralysis on one side of the face, or impaired muscle control.
  • Other symptoms. Though not as common, some people will experience other symptoms as well, including nausea, vomiting, inflammation in the eyes, heart problems, liver damage, and debilitating fatigue.

If your aging parent has been bitten by a tick and begins to experience any symptoms, get in touch with their doctor as soon as possible. Early detection can allow for treatment that minimizes the chances of severe consequences.


If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073