Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. The earlier you’re treated, the better your chances for recovery. Most people who are diagnosed in the early stages take an oral medication for between two and three weeks. People who have more severe symptoms, including neurological impairment, may require intravenous antibiotics. Treatment for advanced Lyme disease may run for several weeks to a month or more.
Some people experience chronic symptoms of Lyme disease even after several weeks of antibiotic treatment. Although the bacteria have been eliminated from the body, the symptoms of Lyme disease may linger. This can include:
- short-term memory problems
- joint or muscle aches
This long-lasting type of Lyme disease is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS).
The CDC has only recently recognized PTLDS as a condition. This is because doctors don’t fully understand why chronic Lyme disease occurs. Medical experts think that chronic Lyme disease occurs when Lyme disease severely damages a person’s body tissues and immune system. This may cause symptoms to continue after the disease has been cleared from their body.