My 8yo son has recently been diagnosed with TS and we suspect our 5yo son may also have a motor tic disorder, if not actual TS. I find that both of their tics can be in the waning or even non existant phase for a bit, and the minute they have any kind of nasal congestion, the tics reappear. Anyone else noticing this or understand the connection?
Well, I'm not a physician, but I am a 42 y/o male w/full onset TS.
If I understand correctly, your question isn't whether the congestion problem is being caused by the TS, but rather can the TS tics be triggered by the congestion. (Yes, I know you were clear, I just wanted to show I understood.)
K, that said. Yes. I do believe there could very possibly be a connection. I assume when congested, there's sniffling, more swallowing, difficulties breathing, as well as increased stress on the person, etc.
I've never heard of the specific connection before, but I can see how it could act as a trigger. I at 42 still don't know exactly what my triggers are. I do know that for myself (More often when I was younger) that any repetitive behavior could end up as a tic. Sometimes I wasn't even aware. For instance, at one point I had a tic where my head would tic (as if to clear my bangs out of my eyes) but then continue or randomly occur even after a haircut. Now, was that a neurological tic or the OCD aspect of the disorder?
I've also found that stress can definitely play a role in the onset and/or severity. And I definitely get stressed when I can't breathe! Now, I myself suffer from chronic sinusitis, and I have noticed that something similar in myself. Sometimes just sniffling constantly, or basicly just getting myself so stressed out that the tics come out. (Especially if the cold is interfering with communication, see, I also stutter at times, and if that happens, ANY stresser can set me off dramaticly! Even to the point of full vocal tics, violent repetitive arm or hand movements, the works.
Now I would assume that if they've been formally diagnosed, then simple awareness of the tics, their onsets, their severity, and ANY possible triggers is what your job is, and if you've made this association then I assume you do your job well:)
That said, you could look to avoid the congestion (Good luck w/a 5 and 8 y/o), More likely I think would be to simply try and relieve the specific symptom (if there is one) during the times noticed to trigger the tics. Of course it may not be that specific either, just the added stress of the cold may be it, if so??? I do know that when I am dehydrated (as with a cold) that not only is that a trigger for me, but my tics are usually much more violent, cover a greater range, (like one tic setting the others off), and happen more frequently. Simple hydration often seems to do wonders. Related? Who knows, but that awareness I spoke of causes me to look at re-hydration as one of the MANY tools I use to help control my disorder.
I could go on forever, and am more than willing to anytime. TS is so very confusing, frustrating, embarassing, and misunderstood that we have to ask questions anytime we have them. With TS there are never any dumb ones! I mean shoot! The Dr's don't even really know much yet. I'm even still looking back on my life noticing some tics I just dismissed. Didn't even associate them to my TS, but sure enough!
Anyway, hope this helps some, please feel free to ask anytime. One thing I learned quickly, is that info is essential for us, our families, and even the community. (LOL! I've even got pat, quick answers I can spit out to explain that I have it and that's why my arm is over my mouth as I'm trying NOT to offend. Most people catch it right away when they see I AM in fact trying not to swear!!!
We went through a lot of medical Dr.s at the onset of TS. I had my son tested for allergies using a blood test to screen the levels of intensity at his pediatrician. Turns out he is allergic to almost everything. When we started him on Singulair, his sniffing and throat clearing tics went awayfairly quickly. However, they pop up once in awhile; espceially if you talk about it w/him. THat just makes him rethink about those tics and then he starts sniffing and throat clearing again. Tics are tricky like that. Good luck.
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