Symptoms of Lyme disease

Learn about the symptoms of Lyme disease, what to look for and what to do if you become ill.

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What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

Symptoms of Lyme disease can be different from person to person. You may not have any symptoms at all, while others may suffer severe symptoms.

Symptoms of Lyme disease can include any of the following:

  • skin rash
  • headache
  • fever or chills
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • spasms or weakness
  • numbness or tingling
  • swollen lymph nodes
    • oval-shaped organ found in the body, such as the armpit or stomach

Additional symptoms can include:

  • dizziness
  • abnormal heartbeat
  • muscle and joint pain
  • paralysis (unable to move parts of your body)
  • mental confusion or inability to think clearly (brain fog)
  • nervous system disorders (involving the brain, nerves and spinal cord)

Sometimes, you may not experience symptoms for weeks after you are bitten by an infected tick.

If left untreated, Lyme disease symptoms can last from months to years. In rare cases, Lyme disease can lead to death.

Post-treatment symptoms

You may experience symptoms that last months to years after treatment. This is a condition known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS).

Symptoms can include:

  • sleep disturbance
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • muscle and joint pain
  • mental confusion or inability to think clearly

What do you do if you become ill?

See your health provider right away if you develop symptoms of Lyme disease in the weeks after a tick bite. Tell them about your symptoms and if you participated in any activities in an at-risk area.

If you saved the tick that bit you, bring it to your medical appointment. Tell them:

  • how long the tick was attached to you
  • where you were when you were bitten by the tick

The sooner you get treatment, the better your chance of recovery.

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