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  • Allergies causing tics

    Hi all,

    Has anyone heard of allergies causing tics? If this is possible, is it rare? Do any of you notice known allergens to cause tics in you or your children. My son does have allergies and his asthma is also triggered by cold air. I was wondering if these things could trigger his tics? With the recent heat wave in the Northeast US we have been spending a lot of time in air conditioned rooms. His tics have greatly increased in the past week. He also minds most of the winter weather. Just curious. Thanks.

    Grammy

  • #2
    Allergies causing tics

    Grammy,

    Tics, particularly in childhood, vary in their severity and frequency, following what is known as a waxing and waning process. Often, tics are particularly noticeable for a finite period of time, after which they may subside for weeks or months.

    As a result of this waxing and waning period, parents or educators may either dismiss such actions as a phase, or else attribute actions to physical problems. A child who, for instance, continual sniffs their nose, may be thought to have a cold or an allergy to something in his or her environment.

    However, when brought to a physician, they cannot attribute the tics to an illness or allergy. After the tic has waned, parents tend to think that either the phase or unidentifiable sickness has run its course.

    This notion is confirmed by Dr. Leslie Packer a source I consider well informed:

    The first tics of TS are often erroneously thought to be "nervous habits," allergies, or unexplained colds. For example, a child who suddenly starts sniffing may be thought to have a cold or allergies, but the pediatrician may find no evidence of a cold and no clear allergy symptoms such as rhinitis. Similarly, a child who suddenly starts blinking their eyes a lot may be thought to have some vision problem or allergies, but on examination, there will be no evidence to support the notion that the blinking is allergy-related.
    If there is evidence to the contrary, we should be eager to learn about it.
    Steve
    TouretteLinks Forum

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    • #3
      Allergies causing tics

      Hi Steve,


      Bummer!!!

      I do understand that the TS is actually present in the individual. I just thought that maybe certain environmental conditions, substances, allergic reactions, caffeine, medications, emotions or stress could aggravate tics and make them more pronounced. My son's tics have been there all summer, but they had been much less noticeable (about 80%) this summer. For instance, I have been eliminating caffeine from his diet thinking that might help. Maybe I don't need to do that, although I think kids, TS or not, get entirely too much caffeine. Do most TS specialists agree that what we are exposed to has nothing to do with TS? Thanks for your reply.

      Grammy

      Comment


      • #4
        Allergies causing tics

        Removing caffeine is probably a good thing, because the stimulant effect of caffeine can only exacerbate tic activity.

        Over the years we have heard hypotheses about environmental factors affecting {not causing} Tourette, but I have not heard any recent clear evidence.

        Perhaps others may have some comment on this.
        Steve
        TouretteLinks Forum

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        • #5
          Allergies causing tics

          Thanks for your input Steve. I see in my initial post that I wrote cause tics, when I actually meant aggravate or increase tics. Sorry about the misunderstanding.

          Grammy

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          • #6
            Allergies causing tics

            Grammy:

            In connection to the cold air, in our situation, it forces someone with asthma to breath deeper and when it is damp or moist air seems to irritate the lungs and sets the child up to get ill. We have two with asthma in this home.

            As Steve suggested, we keep caffeine away from my son, limit sugar and oddly enough limit milk to normal consumption. There for awhile when he drank a lot of milk it seemed to increase tics and worse it created a agitated personality and aggression.

            My son has TS+
            PJK

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            • #7
              Allergies causing tics

              So PJK, are you saying with the asthma that getting ill will set off tics?

              My son takes meds all winter for the asthma, so he basically does not get sick from it unless and actual virus sets in with the fever, upset stomach, etc.

              I am still keeping him away from the caffeine from sodas basically. He does get a little chocolate. He is not a big chocolate eater, so he doesn't eat it often. I don't think any kids should be getting caffeine in their diets, period. I know it makes my heart pound within 20 minutes. I don't touch the stuff anymore.

              Grammy

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              • #8
                Allergies causing tics

                Grammy:

                What I have found in our case is that any stresses, emotionally or physically like getting ill can trigger more tics.

                In some cases like ours the cold air can relax the breathing tic my son has but if there is humidity in the air that can cause breathing issues. It is like a double edge sword in the winter for us.

                I just try to keep him warm and in dry air.

                School can create more ticing at home and some other members may agree that the first semester can be harder then the second since their child is just getting back into the swing of being in large crowds, meeting deadlines and schedules.
                If you are like us, my son tics at home much more then at school and this is a common reaction to relieve the stresses of the school day.
                PJK

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                • #9
                  Allergies causing tics

                  Hi Grammy,

                  Have you cleaned your air filters recently? Of if you have fans in the house do they look like they are beginning to collect dust? My husband has both asthma and allergies and noticed that he seemed to be having trouble with this past week. We dusted off all the fans and cleaned our room air conditioner filter and he did say that he felt better this weekend.

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