Child Behavior Community
14.2k Members
Avatar universal

benign throat clearing tic

My daughter is 31/2 years old.  About a month ago, she developed what her pediatrician calls a benign tic.  He checked her out and decided it wasn't an allergy or a breathing problem.  Sometimes it sounds like she's clearing her throat loudly, other times it sounds like a loud hiccup - which is what lead me to believe she might be having a breathing problem.  I do believe she does this involuntarily because she is not interrupted when she is talking and when she sleeps at night, she is silent the entire night - I know this because I slept in the same room with her for two weeks.  Also, she didn't make the sound when the pediatrician was checking her, which he said convinced him more that it was a tic.  Her pediatrician says it could last a few weeks to 6 months.  He also said that it could be form of terets syndrome but that can't be diagnosed until she's at least six.  I'm starting to get use to the sound she makes, but it definitely attracts attention when we are in public, which reminds me how "unusual" the sound she makes is.

I want to make sure I'm not overlooking anything.  Should I have her looked at by a pediatric neurologist?  Or should I just let it run it's course, although I'm getting quite tired of strangers and friends "suggestions" as to what it is and what I should do.

Please advise!

This discussion is related to neurological ticks.
59 Responses
603946 tn?1333945439
You are right- you can get too much input. I am here to talk if you'd just like a sounding board. Drop me a short note.
My son had something very similar from age 4-6- his was allergies though- he said it was to clear/scratch his throat and ear. I thought it was behavioral but he did get allergy treatment. It started again seemed to me a nervous thing around age 12 again. He was tested for allergies and found he was no longer allergic to anything. Great news. But why the noises? I did finally tell him it was sort of annoying once or twice and he did stop doing it.

So you have done everything you can do. When I thought it was nervous habit I think I did try him on an herbal supplement like st johns wort or some adhd herbal chewable. That's worth a try and easy to do a search for just to try for a few weeks- it can't hurt anything.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your comments.  They do make me feel a little bit better.  It's just so difficult to know if you are doing all the right things.  Just yesterday in the store, it seemed like my daughters "noises" had increased dramatically in both loudness and duration.  I was driving home wondering if I"m missing something.  I think I will try the herbal supplement.  I can get her to try a chewable if it tastes good.  Thanks for the advice.
Avatar universal
My daughter, 6 yrs old, has just begun this throat clearing tic.  I have read articles about it being caused from stress.  She had a line in the school Christmas play, and it did begin about 3-4 days before the program.  A week later was the church kids program.  She told me she was nervous both times, but did a great job once on stage.  I know these things are stressful for the elementary kids.  I am hoping that it is a benign tic, and that's all!!  During the second program, the microphone picked up her constant throat clearing.  I was hoping no one
else noticed!  It has become very annoying.  I'm hoping that with Christmas break coming in just 5 days, she will relax and simply break free!!
Thank you for your post, I know I'm not alone!!
Avatar universal
My doctor also asked me if my daughter was "stressed".  I guess when they're 3 years old you can't think of anything they could possibly be stressed about - isn't that suppose to be the stress free years of their life?  Anyways, my daughters throat clearing has improved dramatically.  We have days where it's more obvious than others, but so far not as bad as it was at the end of the summer.  I'm hoping she's outgrowing it or become "less stressed".  But I think you are right - especially at six years of age - your daughter might just be nervous about the play.  Hopefully after Christmas she will stop it.  
I can totally relate to the throat clearing.  When my daughter does it in public - everyone turns their head!  I've learned to act like I don't even hear it and usually people turn back and forget about it.  Sometimes if you don't react, they dont react.  
Let me know if your daughter improves after the holidays............  
Avatar universal
My daughter who is 8 years old also has the habit of clearing out her throat, she has had it for over two years now. I can't pinpoint the time frame it was starting to happen, however she doesn't do it when she is running around outside or being really active and doesn't do it when she sleeps.

I have taken several measures of trying to get this resolved by taken her to our family doctor which put her on flonase, didn't help. After trying almost every allergy medication over the counter I went to have her tested for allergies, which she had some, however they were not in season at the time, I than was referred to an ear nose and throat doctor which did an xray of the throat which there was nothing in the back of the throat to cause her to do this, he than mentioned that it seemed to be a tic.

I really don't know what would be the next step. If it is caused from stress do I want to put her on something to calm her down? It is very annoying I guess to my husband and myself the most. I am also concerned how the others view her at school.

Your not alone in this and it is not easy-if you find out anything more please let me know.

535822 tn?1443980380
This is an old thread you may not get much response
Have an Answer?
Top Children's Health Answerers
189897 tn?1441130118
San Pedro, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
We answer your top questions about the flu vaccine.
Learn which over-the-counter medicines are safe for you and your baby
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
Healing home remedies for common ailments