First identified in rural Connecticut in 1975, Lyme disease has been the subject of conjecture and controversy for nearly half a century. Because many of its symptoms mimic other diseases, and research on its long-term effects is still ongoing, Lyme disease has many myths and misconceptions.
Is Lyme Disease Incurable?
Lyme disease is highly curable with a 2-4 week course of oral antibiotics, especially when the infection is diagnosed and addressed quickly. The majority of those infected with Lyme disease will require no further treatment and feel back to normal shortly after.
Unfortunately, some patients may experience lingering symptoms like pain, fatigue, and brain fog for six months or longer. This is referred to as Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS). Due to PTLDS’s similarity to other conditions, it is difficult to pin down an exact number of people who experience long-term symptoms. Still, it is estimated to be somewhere between 5-30 percent of those diagnosed with Lyme disease.
Is Lyme Disease an Autoimmune Disease?
Although a small percentage of patients diagnosed with Lyme disease experience autoimmune-like symptoms, Lyme disease is not classified as autoimmune. Some individuals may experience autoimmune symptoms, but these usually resolve within weeks or months, with no discernible, lasting immunological implications.
Of more concern, like many other illnesses, the immune system’s response to Lyme disease may trigger the development of an autoimmune disorder (like Sjogren’s syndrome) or systemic autoinflammatory conditions (like adult-onset Still’s disease). This scenario is relatively rare, and most people diagnosed with Lyme disease make a full recovery with no lasting effects.
Can Lyme Disease Cause Alzheimer’s?
Despite many claims to the contrary, credible researchers have found no link between Lyme disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Initial studies on a Lyme-Alzheimer’s connection seemed promising when researchers found spirochete bacteria – similar to the type implicated in Lyme disease – in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Subsequent analyses indicate that Lyme is an unlikely cause, mainly since there is no geographic correlation between regions where Lyme disease is endemic and areas with high levels of Alzheimer’s disease.
Can Lyme Disease Induce Autism?
Similar to claims about Lyme disease and Alzheimer’s, many websites and groups are devoted to linking Lyme disease and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Initial studies indicated that the bacteria implicated in Lyme disease might be present in approximately a quarter of children with ASD. Scientists and doctors subsequently disproved this, but outdated information is still circulated and widely shared on the Internet.
Can You Get Lyme Disease If You Didn’t Have A Rash?
A final medical misconception deals with one of the most well-known signs of Lyme disease. A distinctive bullseye rash is the most recognizable sign of Lyme disease, but not everyone who contracts the disease will experience this symptom. Up to 30 percent of those who get Lyme disease will not have a rash. After being bitten by a tick, you should be tested for Lyme disease if you experience flu-like symptoms, including
Prevention Is The Best Cure, And East End Tick Control® Can Help
Although Lyme disease is highly treatable, prevention is the best cure. Professional tick mitigation is one of the most effective ways to avoid encountering these pests on your property. Since 1997, East End Tick and Mosquito Control® have been Suffolk County’s most trusted and reliable tick control company. For 25 years, we have been utilizing the most effective extermination methods to protect yourself and your family. Request a free estimate or call our Southampton office at (631) 287-9700, our East Hampton office at (631) 324-9700, or our Southold office at (631) 765-9700.