Summer: A Season for Lyme Disease and Role of Virtual Speech Therapy

Summer: A Season for Lyme Disease and Role of Virtual Speech Therapy

Summer is here and that means school is out, kids are playing outside, and people are planning vacations. Popular activities during these warmer months include hiking, camping, backpacking and other activities that involve being in the wilderness. 

With all this time spent outdoors, summer is reported as the time of highest risk for Lyme disease transmission in the United States as there is a higher tick density in the summer. With the heightened risk in the summer, people are more likely to get a tick bite and potentially contract Lyme disease.

What is Lyme Disease and How Does it Affect Speech?

Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne disease in the United States, is caused by a bacteria and transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks.

Lyme disease has been associated with a wide variety of persistent neuropsychological and cognitive symptoms, including:

  • Impaired attention, focus, concentration, judgment, and impulse control
  • Impaired memory and speech functions
  • Disorganization and getting lost
  • Poor problem-solving and decision-making abilities
  • Slower mental processing speed
  • Issues similar to those seen in dementia and Alzheimer’s

Approximately 70% of those afflicted with Lyme disease report changes in their thinking such as memory loss and reduced mental sharpness. Furthermore, if Lyme disease reaches the nervous system, it can impact speech because the nerves that are responsible for the muscles in your vocal cords can be impaired leading to lost voice. 

Virtual Speech Therapy Can Help

People who are infected with Lyme disease often experience issues with the nervous system, cognition and neuropsychological functions, this can make it challenging to leave home or travel. That’s why so many individuals prefer the option for online speech therapy which makes care more accessible, lessens individual and families burden and stress, and improves quality of life – especially for those who prefer the familiar surroundings of home instead of traveling to brick and mortar clinic sites.

People of any age can get Lyme disease, but the illness is most common in persons under 16 years of age or persons older than 30 years of age. Since individuals aged 16 and under don’t always have reliable transportation, online speech therapy is even more beneficial as it eliminates travel barriers of going to in-person clinics. 

What Sets Great Speech Apart

A dynamic feature of the Great Speech approach to online speech therapy, is the opportunity to  access to Great Speech Practice Portal: Synchronous sessions with a licensed Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) as well as Asynchronous sessions for the individual to participate in “homework” sessions between visits with the speech therapist. This program attribute creates additional chances to reinforce learning and allows clients to accomplish their goals in a shorter period of time.

Flexibility is also one of the most appreciated aspects of Great Speech’s virtual speech therapy. SLPs have wide availability, including evenings and weekends, to accommodate busy schedules that may be strained by school schedule, ongoing appointments with doctors or other treatment regimens. This is a significant relief for individuals and families who are juggling schedules to ensure access to care. 

Additionally, our network of 200+ SLPs provides nationwide access to personalized speech therapy with the best qualified therapist for a specific condition – eliminating geographic restrictions and minimizing long wait times to schedule an appointment. 

As a result of virtual speech therapy, individuals struggling with Lyme disease are able to improve conversation skills and activities with friends and family – which is why we like to say, “We deliver happiness.”

If you or someone you love is experiencing communication challenges resulting from Lyme disease, get started by scheduling an introductory call today.