As the warmer weather arrives, so does the prevalence of ticks. Ticks are most active from March to mid-May and again from mid-August to November. Ticks are typically found near wooded or grassy areas and may be transferred to humans when walking trough leaf litter or shrubs. They are often also carried into homes by domesticated pets.
In the Northeastern United States, deer ticks are carriers of the Lyme disease bacteria and can pass the disease onto adults or children by biting. The good news, though, is that it takes a day or two after a tick attaches to the skin before Lyme disease will spread. Therefore, it is super important to do regular skin check on anybody in your household during the aforementioned months, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors or have animals that go outside.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease:
Generally, the first indicator of Lyme disease is a round, read rash that spreads from the tick bite site. The rash can get very large. Those suffering from Lyme disease may also experience flu like symptoms, fatigue, headaches, fever, sore muscles and joints, and poor memory.
Symptoms can appear anytime from three days to up to a month after being bitten. Often, people will not even be aware that they had been bitten in the first place.
More Serious Effects:
We here at Plymouth Ear, Nose and Throat take Lyme disease very seriously because we are aware of the more serious side effects that can occur when left untreated. Lyme disease can also cause hearing loss, facial paralysis, and tongue paralysis. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is imperative that you visit your doctor to confirm that you have Lyme disease and to discuss an appropriate plan of action. Please call us if you have concerns or would like to make an appointment; 508-746-8977.
How to Prevent Lyme Disease:
We suggest that you remain diligent with your tick checks throughout the year, but especially during the warmer months! Remove ticks from the body immediately (don’t forget to check the scalp and under long hair) and either submerge them in alcohol or flush them down a drain or the toilet. If you will be spending time in wooded areas, hiking or camping for example, try to wear clothes that cover your legs and arms. You may also choose to wear insect repellent or have your yard treated with a pesticide. Taking these precautions should help you to avoid tick bites and contracting Lyme disease.