What Everyone Should Know about Lyme Disease

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by bacterium primarily transmitted by tick bites. The smallest "nymph" ticks (many the size of a poppy seed) are the most concerning, as they are almost invisible to the naked eye and often leave an undetectable bite.

Did You Know?

  • Lyme disease is the fastest growing infectious disease in the United States, 1.5X more common than breast cancer and 6X more common than HIV.
  • The CDC acknowledges at least 425,000 new infections per year.
  • The tell-tale bullseye rash after a bite occurs in less than half of all Lyme infections.
  • Current testing often provides a false negative result.
  • Most insurance companies do not cover treatment for Lyme disease

Symptoms of Lyme Disease:

  • Severe fatigue and exhaustion.
  • Joint pain, swelling and stiffness.
  • Neurological impairment, unable to concentrate, memory loss, vision changes.
  • Difficulty with speech or writing, ear pain, buzzing or ringing.
  • Seizures, light-headedness, poor balance, difficulty walking and Bells Palsy.
  • Cardiac issues, irregular heartbeat, murmurs, heart block.

Preventing Lyme Disease

Before Going into Nature

  • Wear light-colored clothing consisting of long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Tuck pant legs into socks. Wear a hat.
  • Apply tick repellent. Products containing DEET or DEET alternatives are effective. Lemon eucalyptus and rose geranium essential oils repel ticks and several all-natural sprays are available.
  • Products containing Permethrin may be used on your clothing, gear and equipment.
  • Stay in the middle of the trail and away from foliage.
  • Don’t sit on logs, lean against trees, or walk through tall grass.

After Going Into Nature

  • Perform tick checks on yourself, your children and your pets.
  • Focus on hard to reach areas like the scalp and folds & creases of skin.
  • If bitten, remove the tick using a tick key or sharp tweezers. If you do not have tweezers, use protective gloves. Pull straight up and away from the skin. DO NOT TWIST OR BURN WITH A MATCH.

IMPORTANT: Save the tick in a plastic bag & contact IGeneX or Tick Report for tick testing.

If You've Been Bitten
Watch for symptoms of Lyme disease:

  • Flu-like ailments, chills, lack of energy or extreme fatigue. 
  • Monitor for development of a circular bullseye rash, small bump or redness at the site of the tick bite.
  • If the tick tests positive, or you suspect Lyme disease, contact a Lyme-literate doctor (LLMD). Most LLMDs utilize Western Blot testing along with clinical diagnosis. Consult the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ilads.org) for a physician referral, if needed.
  • STAY VIGILANT. With an early Lyme infection, antibodies may not have had time to develop in your body. Therefore, an initial blood test may appear negative. Many people are asymptomatic, but can develop symptoms months, years or even decades later. Monitor yourself closely, learn about Lyme disease and trust your body and your gut instinct.

Raising Hope For Families with Lyme

Lyme Light provides treatment grants up to $10,000 to children in need who cannot pay for necessary medications and therapies. Why Is This Important?

  • Early intervention enhances recovery.
  • Children are the most susceptible to contracting Lyme disease and will suffer the longest if left untreated.
  • Through medical treatment grants, LymeLight helps ill youth, who may otherwise lead lives of unfulfilled potential and dependency, to create a path to health and self-reliance.
  • We believe in the hope and promise of the next generation.

Active and Thriving

At the age of 2, Micaiah suffered from a severe vision disability, asthma, digestive issues, mood swings and a weak immune system. Her family drove across states to see a Lyme specialist. After testing positive for Lyme, the family worried about how to pay for her treatment. As a one-income household, they were struggling to make ends meet.

Micaiah's grant made her antibiotic and supplement treatment possible, as well visits to a vision therapist. She is now an active and healthy 7 year-old. Her asthma symptoms have disappeared and her visits to the Lyme specialist are fewer and farther between

Since 2011, LymeLight has awarded over $5.3 million in treatment grants to 824 individuals in 49 states.

Thank you for the gift of hope and healing!   Make a Donation

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