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Taking antibiotic for ringing ears. Feeling fatigue with sore throat and joint pain. Lymes' disease?

Mar 2013
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Hi, I am experiencing ringing in the ears and I'm on antiobiotics for a small but painful lump that appeared under my tongue. I'm also experiencing extreme fatigue, sore throat, and joint pain/numbness. All of these things I could easrily attribute to other things until I read that the antibiotic I am on is often used to treat Lyme disease and I know you can only get that from ticks. I came back from Kauai in early december after expeinecing a number of bites from fleas (on the couch in the timeshare) and from the no-see-ums. One bit in particular was left at my upper back, about the size of a quarter, a raised lump in the middle surrounding by a fuzzy red ring. I remember it because I have had ringworm before and it didn't look like that be nevertheless it was a definite ring. I didn't think anythin of it because the 'ring' didn't spread and it everntually went away. Now I'm wondering if I've contracted Lymes' disease. Kauai is not known for ticks. I should also mention I like in N California where ticks are rampant. What do you think?
Posted Wed, 20 Mar 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 2 hours later
Thank you for your query.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread through the bite of the blacklegged tick.
The ticks pick up the bacteria when they bite mice or deer that are infected with Lyme disease and you , in turn, can get the disease if you are bitten by an infected tick.

Lyme disease was first reported in the United States in the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975. In the United States, most Lyme disease infections occur in the following areas:
Northeastern states, from XXXXXXX to Maine
North-central states, mostly in Wisconsin and Minnesota
West Coast, particularly northern California

As is apparent, you do stay in a high risk area. Kauai also is known for Lyme disease.

There are 3 stages of Lyme disease.
Stage 1 is called early localized Lyme disease. The infection is not yet widespread throughout the body.
Stage 2 is called early disseminated Lyme disease. The bacteria have begun to spread throughout the body.
Stage 3 is called late disseminated Lyme disease. The bacteria have spread throughout the body.

Blacklegged ticks can be so small that they are almost impossible to see. Many people with Lyme disease never even notice or see a tick on their body.

Symptoms of early localized Lyme disease (Stage 1) begin days or weeks after infection. They are similar to the flu and may include body wide itching, body ache, chills, fever, general ill being and malaise, headache, dizziness, muscular pain and a stiff neck.
There may be a "bull's eye" rash, a flat or slightly raised red spot at the site of the tick bite. Often there is a clear area in the center. It can be quite large and expanding in size.Symptoms may come and go. Untreated, Lyme disease can spread to the brain, heart, and joints.

Symptoms of early disseminated Lyme disease (Stage 2) may occur weeks to months after the initial tick bite. They may include: Paralysis or weakness in the muscles of the face, Muscle pain and pain or swelling in the knees and other large joints, Heart problems, such as skipped heartbeats (palpitations)

Symptoms of late disseminated Lyme disease (Stage 3) can occur months or years after the initial infection. The most common symptoms are muscle and joint pain. Other symptoms may include: Abnormal muscle movement, Muscle weakness ,Numbness and tingling, Speech problems, visual problems etc.

A blood test can be done to check for antibodies to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. The most commonly used is the ELISA for Lyme disease test. A western blot test is done to confirm ELISA results.

Other tests that may be done, when the infection has become more widespread, include:
Echocardiogram to look at the heart
Spinal tap (lumbar puncture to examine spinal fluid
MRI of the brain

A 2 - 4-week course of antibiotics is used to treat people who are diagnosed with Lyme disease. The specific antibiotic used depends on the stage of the disease and the symptoms.

Pain medications, such as ibuprofen, are sometimes prescribed to relieve joint stiffness.

Rarely, a person will continue having symptoms that can interfere with daily life even after they have been treated with antibiotics. Some people call this post-Lyme disease syndrome. The cause is unknown.

Stage 3, or late disseminated, Lyme disease can cause long-term joint inflammation (Lyme arthritis) and heart rhythm problems. Brain and nervous system problems are also possible, and may include: Decreased concentration. Memory disorders, Nerve damage, Numbness, Pain, Paralysis of the face muscles, Sleep disorders and vision problems etc.

This was about Lyme's disease.
As is apparent, XXXXXXX it does unfortunately sound like you had early symptoms of Lyme's disease, particularly the typical bite and the resultant rash you had. Also you have taken due antibiotics, but you need to know the diagnosis for your own good.

Please consult your primary care physician and have confirmatory testing for Lyme's disease.

take care, do not worry, and feel free to ask for further clarifications.
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