Lyme disease usually affects people in different ways. While many people are not aware of the risk of this disease, it can lead to some serious long-term debilitating effects despite the initial mild symptoms recovering. Many pro athletes and celebrities have come out to reveal how the disease has completely altered the course of their careers with serious complications months or years after the infection that goes untreated. Among the long-term effects of Lyme disease include;
Though a small percentage of infected patients develop heart problems, Lyme disease may affect various organ systems including the heart. Slowed heart rate and irregular heart rhythm are among the common heart problems experienced by infected individuals. As a result, the patient may experience such symptoms as lightheadedness, chest pain shortness of breath and fainting. In severe cases, though rare, Lyme disease may cause Lyme carditis which recovers completely upon treatment with oral and intravenous antibiotics to get rid of the infection and prevent late complications. If untreated, the disease may result in heart failure which is life-threatening in most cases.
Some individual may develop a specific type of arthritis known as Lyme arthritis when exposed to Lyme disease. This disease usually attacks the knee joints resulting in swelling and painful experiences. Each time this arthritis attacks, it may take up to a few months before recovering when antibiotics are used. Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and siphoning of the synovial fluids from the swollen joints have proven to help reduce soreness in the joints. It is established that a bigger percentage of untreated Lyme disease patients end developing Lyme arthritis which is a severe complication than most would imagine.
Lyme disease is also said to cause neurological damage that results in memory loss, mood swings, loss of concentration, and muscle weaknesses in approximately 10-15% of the patients. It is also established that the infection may cause, temporary paralysis of facial muscles as well as a lead in poor motor coordination. Treatment with antibiotics for 4-28 days may help in eradicating the bacteria causing the disease. However, the symptoms like headaches and neck stiffness may take longer to disappear.
Lyme disease is a serious condition that has left many people suffering even after initial antibiotic treatment. With the effects likely to last longer and cause debilitating effects, it is important to get diagnosed immediately the first symptoms are detected to help manage the disease and possibly get cured earlier.