By: Dee Jones, President of Light 2 World, Inc.

One day, I saw my 5-year-old son moving his lips in an awkward spasm-like motion. These muscular spasms continued for a few months. I asked him, “why are you moving your mouth like that?” He did not explain the reason for this behavior, and he could not control it. The spasms decreased but did not go away. I mentioned this to a pediatrician, and no medication or treatment was prescribed. I was told “we will keep an eye on this”. Over a year or so, the spasms decreased, then finally went away. Occasionally, there may be other repetitive lip movements, lip or finger picking habits which my son will repeat when he is anxious or upset. After seeing a specialist, it was discovered that my son does suffer from anxiety and insomnia. I learned that nervousness, anxiety, or fatigue can trigger spasms in the eyes, face, and mouth.

As I continued my researched, I found that tics can be diagnosed as Tic Syndrome and/or Tourettes Syndrome. This neuromuscular disorder manifests in numerous ways. Symptoms may include muscular or vocal tics in children and adults. A child may experience uncontrollable eye-blinking, lip-licking, or vocal noises. Even adults may shrug their shoulders or kick each leg in a repetitive pattern. Tic Syndrome can affect any part of the body and ranges from mild to complex cases.

Treatment will vary depending on the severity of symptoms. Mild cases resolve over time with proper sleep and a balanced life. Severe Tic Syndrome and Tourettes Syndrome may require medication and behavior therapy as prescribed by a provider or specialist. All cases should be reported to your provider to facilitate the best intervention and prevention of worsening symptoms. As with most conditions, it is a good idea to eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get the appropriate rest. Get regular checkups, report any changes in your health to a provider, and do not forget to pray always.

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