Excessive Eye blinking/squinting
Possible Tourette's Syndrome?
, Apr 12 2012 12:26 PM
20 replies to this topic
Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:26 PM
I am posting here for more traffic....
In the last few days, my 7yo DS has been excessively blinking/squinting his eyes - like a sort of tic.
He says his eyes are not sore/itchy, he doesn't have any vision issues and it seems completely involuntary. It happens whether he is watching TV, playing outside, driving in the car etc. He also was doing it in his sleep last night.
He has had a few funny little quirks before like opening his mouth and scrunching his nose but the mouth one especially I had put down to trying to itch his lips without touching them as he sometimes gets a rash and I am forever telling him not to touch it. These have gone away by themselves. I guess as this one is really obvious it is making me worry.
He has no other involuntary arm/leg movements or vocal tics.
So I have been doing some googling, as you do and have come across both 'transient tics' and Tourette's syndrome.
He has no other behavioural issues or other health issues such as ADHD, OCD etc which is sometimes linked to Tourettes however he is a bit of an anxious child I guess. No problems academically or socially however. He is a bright, happy NT child that just sometimes gets a bit worried about things. He's not worried about anything in particular now (so he tells me) and it's school holidays so it can't be school etc. He is a good student with lots of friends and I think I would know if it was school related.
Anyway, I took him to the Dr this morning and she doesn't seem overly concerned and has asked me to come back in 2-3 weeks if it's still there and she can refer me to a paediatrician and an optician (or some kind of eye doctor). She also said that it is very difficult to diagnose Tourettes.
I asked her about a possible magnesium deficiency as I had read this may cause tics but she said this more causes the eyelid 'twitches' rather than the hard blinking/squeezing that he is doing.
I guess I am just wondering if anyone else has experienced anything similar or has any advice?
Edited by PopsiclePeach, 12 April 2012 - 12:27 PM.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:31 PM
For TS to be dx'd a person needs to display constant tics for over 12 months.
There are many tic disorders and I'd probably follow up with a paed. I wouldnt get too concerned just yet.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:33 PM
Thank you itsaboys world, I know I am probably working myself up over this, hopefully unnecessarily. I tend to overthink things!
Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:33 PM
DS started an eye blink twitch thing at the start of the year. He wasn't complaining about pain or itchiness so I left it initially to see if it would go away on it's own.
A few weeks on, I took him to our GP who thought it may be allergies. A week of eye drops and nothing changed. Back to the GP and a referral to an ophthalmologist.
Turns out, it is a viral infection. We're treating with medicated eye drops ATM. If it doesn't clear once the corse is completed, we will go back.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:36 PM
Hmmm that probably seemed a bit dismissive. It wasnt meant to be, I was just getting up to make lunch, sorry.
If you are concerned it is anxiety related, maybe start making notes of when it happens and what is going on around him and probably even take note of when it is NOT hapenning, see if there is something you can notice from that point of view.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:39 PM
My DS did this when he was about 2 1/2. It lasted a while (say a month or two) but has now gone away of it own accord. I was also a little distrurbed and people asked why he started doing it. I worked out he did it when he was tired, so aybe he just had sore eyes. He no longer does this, but I still look out for it incase it really is something else. Good Luck.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:40 PM
Haha itsaboysworld, no, I didn't take it as dismissive at all - merely sensible!
Yeah I am not sure re: the anxiety thing but I will definitely watch to see if there are any triggers etc, thank you.
LucyE, that is interesting re: the viral infection, I have read that strep throat can sometimes cause this type of thing too. Would be interested to see if your DS's clear up with the drops.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:41 PM
Thanks Scooty, yes he has been having later nights as it is school hols so he could be tired too I suppose. He has always had quite 'light sensitive' eyes i.e. get really watery in bright lights etc.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:50 PM
Same was happening to my son between 3 and 4 years of age. Visit to a paediatric opthalmologist to test eye-sight and turns out he is long sighted. He was blinking excessively and squinting to try to focus - especially when watching tv. When asked he never said it was difficult to see (as he simply didn't know any differently to how he had always seen). Now fitted with glasses and the blinking or squinting has disappeared.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:18 PM
Thanks decisionsdecisions, yes, I think if it hasn't improved in a few weeks we will go to an opthamologist
Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:57 PM
When asked he never said it was difficult to see (as he simply didn't know any differently to how he had always seen)
That was me as a child. It was amazing when I got my first pair of glasses. I never realized what the world really looked like because it had always been blurry to me
Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:18 PM
DS2 went through a terrible stage of blinking constantly. He didn't have itchy eyes or any other symptoms, just couldn't stop the constant blinking.
We tried the GP, and eye test, back to the GP and another eye test. There was nothing wrong with his sight but the second optician flipped DS's eyelid and looked underneath to find an allergic rash under his eyelid
Turns out is was a seasonal allergy, a bit like hayfever for some people, causing the rash under his eyelids. Eyedrops fixed him up quick smart ( although he hated them). It came back a couple of times a year for a few years but he must have grown out of it because he hasn't had any trouble at all in the last few years.
Dr Google can often send you on a scary wild goose chase, I'd head off to the GP as a starting point but remember, it's quite likely to be something simple and easy to fix.
Edited by mumto4boys, 14 April 2012 - 12:53 AM.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 05:02 PM
One of DD's friends used to blink and squint all the time and they didn't think she had any issue with her sight. But were shocked when they had her tested and surprised she had gone so long at school without realising. Her eyes were really bad and she most definately needed glasses. Same as pp's, as she had always seen like that she didn't realise she had a problem.
Her mum told me the day she got her glasses she suddenly said "oh, so thats what those poles are!" She didn't realise that the street signs were signs and didn't know they said anything. She thought they were just weird poles at the end of every street.
Edited by mumto3princesses, 12 April 2012 - 05:05 PM.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:25 PM
My son had quite a few tics over the years. The blinks was the standard one (started age 4-5yrs)...he also had excessive throat clearing, wide opening of his mouth, shoulder scrunching, funny oral noises and prob a few more! Sometimes he would do a combo of a few, that could be rather distracting
- at the time it was quite worrying, but after a while we learnt to look at the funny side
. They was particularly bad when he was being taught by a bully of a teacher interm 1 of grade 2 - so age 7yrs
His was anxiety related, and we didn't do anything except, try and give him plenty of down time. He is now 13yrs old, and still will sometimes get the blinks when tired or feeling a bit stressed - but it is hardly noticable to others at all, and a non-issue, but the tics have all but disappeared.
Our paed was very reassuring thru the whole thing, and I would go that way for advice if I were you. The fact that your DS has other tics, besides the blinking, suggests to me that it is tics, not eye problems...but that is just my thoughts, and I am not a dr - and I am sure a good paed would check the eyes too!
Apparently tics are more common in boys than girls, but are often grown out of. Try not to make a big deal of it, as they are not in his control..and yes, some early nights, and quiet time always helped our DS.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:35 PM
My son did this for while when he was about 5. It went away of its own accord after a month or two.
We did go to the GP and his eyes looked ok so we just gave it time. It was definitely worse when he was tired and he will still do it if he plays the iphone or something too long. He had his eyes checked and they were fine.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:46 PM
Apparently tics are more common in boys than girls
I was told the same thing when I took ryan to a paediatrician when he was about 3.
What you have described, sounds the same as what Ryan was doing.
His went away after a few months.
Ryan actually says to me now,"remember when i used to do this". He is now 7
Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:33 PM
Thanks for all your replies.
Jedimaster thank you, I tend to agree that I think it is tics due to the other things and quite possibly anxiety related. Even though he has nothing to 'worry about' per se, he is a deep thinker and a bit of a cautious, careful boy so maybe this is the way it is manifesting itself. I will wait the 2-3 weeks like the GP requested then go back for a referral to a paed.
It's so worrying to see and I am really concerned about the 'teasing factor' when school goes back
Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:20 PM
Even when my DS were at his worst none of the other kids seemed to notice or say anything.
I was worried about teasing too. Hopefully the tics have improved a bit after the holidays.
Edited by jedimaster, 12 April 2012 - 08:21 PM.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:27 PM
I got glasses at 8. I never knew you could see the leaves on trees and powerlines in the distance.
I try and do a once a year at the optometrist for my guys, as it's fully covered by medicare.
Saying that, one of mine went through a stage of squinting, wiggling his head and the doctor told me it was common for them, sort of experimenting with how they see. He hasn't needed sight correction.
Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:50 PM
My DS did this for a while during the middle of last academic year. It was a very busy time with school production going on. I think his was caused by a combination of things - tiredness, too long on computer games and an eyelash!
He had his eyes tested a few months before so we knew that his eyesight was fine, however the optician checked again and found an eyelash growing onto his eye. She pulled it out and after a restriction placed on computer games and plenty of sleep he is now fine.
Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:01 PM
Found this post by searching because I was going to ask about people's experience of transient tics with their children.
My three year old son first started with the blinking in November last year. It seemed to be mostly when he watched a DVD on my laptop.
It's been on and off since then, not just when watching something. Yesterday and today he has been doing it a lot, and he had his first "tease" because of it (not that he noticed, thankfully) with a couple of primary school kids at the bank today
I don't want him to be teased
I'm glad others have said they grow out of it.
We haven't gone to a GP yet... I guess it might be worth doing though from PPs talking about straight forward solutions to do with eyes. Although I suspect it is a tic, rather than an eye problem (he seems to have great vision and didn't have any issues when he saw a pediatric opthamologist a year or more ago). And he's been doing heavy breathing out of his nose as well
which makes me think maybe that's a tic too
I REALLY hope if anything, it is a tic, rather than a symptom of a more complex problem like Tourette's or other things I don't even know of.
ETA we make sure not to draw much attention to it. Sometimes we'll ask if his eyes are sore, or if he is tired, or if he needs a tissue (for the nose one). But he told me yesterday he blinks because he likes it. So sometimes it seems voluntary almost, but most of the time it looks totally involuntary to me. The nose one certainly.
Edited by Jekaho, 02 May 2012 - 07:02 PM.
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