Lyme Disease - Exams and Tests
Lyme disease is often hard to diagnose. Your doctor will take a careful medical history and do a physical
examination to help diagnose early Lyme disease. You may be asked if you
have recently visited an area where you may have been exposed to ticks. The
doctor will ask about your symptoms and look for physical signs of Lyme disease. The clearest physical sign is an expanding, circular red
erythema migrans ).
Lyme disease tests are blood tests that help confirm a diagnosis of Lyme
disease. These tests can detect
antibodies to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, but they may not be needed. The decision about
when to use blood tests for Lyme disease depends on
whether your doctor strongly thinks you have Lyme disease and whether the test
results will change the course of your treatment.
such as a skin biopsy, may be done to confirm a diagnosis.
If possible, put the tick
that was attached to you in a dry jar or a ziplock bag and take it to the
doctor with you. Sometimes tests can be done on the tick to see if it is a
carrier of Lyme disease.