Lyme Disease: How Can You Protect Yourself This Summer? 

NAINA SOLANKI
Lyme Disease: How Can You Protect Yourself This Summer? 

The thought of Lyme disease can be intimidating. Although it's usually curable by antibiotics, it can lead people to experience symptoms that can affect their brain, joints, and heart. Symptoms can range from fever to swollen lymph nodes to joint pain, and can cause those who contract the disease great discomfort and cognitive decline if untreated. Those who contract the disease are also likely to experience the iconic "bulls-eye" rash, and symptoms may not arise until days after the initial bite.

How Do You Get Lyme Disease? 

Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected deer tick. Ticks become infected by feeding on mice, deer, or other animals infected by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, and they can then transmit these bacteria to humans or other animals through their bite.

Ticks located in the northeastern United States are most likely to be infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, but infected ticks can also be located in other parts of the United States as well as other countries.

How Can You Prevent Lyme Disease? 

The only sure-fire way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid tick bites. To do so, it is important to avoid areas where ticks may be found including areas with trees and underbrush and areas with tall grass. Activities such as hiking, gathering firewood, or cleaning up leaves put you at a high risk for a tick bite and precautions should be taken if you chose to take part in these activities.

If you must go to an area with ticks, it can be helpful to use insect repellent on both your bare skin and clothes, wear light-colored clothes so that you can easily spot ticks before they attach, and wear long sleeves and pants. It's important to minimize areas of exposed skin and take measures such as wearing socks or tucking your pants into your shoes, as this will minimize the areas where ticks can crawl underneath your clothes and attach.

It's also important to check yourself for ticks after returning from an area where you may come across them. Typically, an infected tick must be attached for 1-2 days to transmit the bacteria that causes the infection, so timely removal is critical. The areas on your body where ticks are most likely to be found include the back of your neck, in or behind your ears, under your arms, on your back, your pelvic area, behind your knees, or under your toes. These areas should be inspected closely to make sure no ticks are present. If a tick is found, they are best removed by using tweezers to firmly squeeze the tick at its head near your skin, firmly pulling back, and swabbing the area after with rubbing alcohol to clean it. Additionally, you can also consider saving the tick in a closed container so that it can be tested for the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease.

Although it may not be possible to completely avoid Lyme disease, you can take the steps above to help prevent it.

Post-Lyme disease syndrome symptoms:

CBD isn’t a cure for Lyme disease. There’s no research suggesting that CBD products, including CBD oil, can help treat or cure Lyme disease.

However, some people find that CBD helps to ease specific post-Lyme disease syndrome symptoms like trouble sleeping and joint pain.

CBD oil isn’t an alternative for antibiotic treatment. Still, it may help with some symptoms of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, like joint pain, inflammation, and sleep problems. Click here to find which tincture might work best for you.