Facial tics

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Overview

Facial tics are rapid and uncontrollable movements or spasms, often involving the eyes or facial muscles. The most common types of involuntary facial tics include repetitive blinking, squinting watching, nose straining and spasms located around mouth.

Like other types of tics, facial ones, such as those present in the eye are most common in children but can persist into adulthood.

Unlike voluntary movements, tics are difficult to control and although some people manage to suppress facial tics for a short period of time, they come back and even show longer periods of time.


Contents

1. Overview
2. What is the period of time of facial tics manifestations?
3. Causes, incidence and risk factors
4. Symptoms
5. Diagnosis and investigations
6. Treatment
7. When is time for you to consult a specialist?
8. Diagnosis of facial tics
9. Treatment options
10. Natural ways of attack
11. Other information


What is the period of time of facial tics manifestations?

For some facial tics are temporary and disappear after a few weeks or months. This is especially true for children who develop tics during periods of stress.

For others, facial tics are long term problems can last for years. In some cases, doctors diagnosed chronic motor tics.


Causes, incidence and risk factors

Tics occur most frequently in children and in some cases may persist into adulthood. The frequency of tics in boys is up to four times higher than in girls. The cause of tics is unknown, but it seems that the most severe tics are triggered by stress.


Symptoms

Tics are characterized by repeated spasms, uncontrolled muscle movements similar to such as:
- Repetitive blinking
- Grimacing
- Spasms localized around the mouth
- Wrinkling nose
- Crossed watching


Diagnosis and investigations

The specialist will usually diagnose a tic after a physical examination. No special tests are needed, but in rare cases may be an simple test to determine if seizures that may underlie tics are present.


Treatment

Tics that occur in childhood and are short-lived, do not require treatment. If a child manifests a facial tic and he is constantly warned, the situation may worsen or tic manifestation period may be extended.

An environment with as little stress factors can reduce the frequency of tics and over time will contribute to their disappearance.

Programs for stress control could be as helpful. If tics seriously affect a person’s life, medications such as risperidone may be recommended.


When is time for you to consult a specialist?

It will require specialist help when tics:
- Affects multiple muscle groups
- Are persistent
- Are severe.


Diagnosis of facial tics

Facial tics are usually diagnosed by findings made by the patient or parent and physical examination.

In rare cases, when tics are irregular, your doctor may recommend achieving EEG to rule out seizures or circulatory disease.


Treatment options

There are a variety of treatment options for facial tics, which may include drugs issued on prescription, psychotherapy (cognitive-behavioral), relaxation techniques or herbal and homeopathic remedies.

When tics are temporary, no treatment is generally the best option. Making a child aware of his tics gets worse situation, so watchful waiting and approaches according to the situation’s evolution would be the best option.

When facial tics affect or interfere with everyday life aspects, the doctor may recommend medications like risperidone, useful for their control.


Natural ways of attack

Tics could be a very frustrating problem, as they can cause social problems and can affect other aspects of life. It is important to know that there are a number of herbal or natural remedies that help reduce facial tics.

- Such a plant is Hyoscyamus (henbane), which has strong antispasmodic properties and is often used to relieve nerve irritation.

- Zinc is an ingredient found in many homeopathic preparations and is recommended not only because it supports the immune system and helps in the absorption of minerals in the body, but is also great for calming the nervous system, muscle spasms, nervous movements, especially those resulting from exhaustion and stress.

- Chamomilla (chamomile) is an herb with soothing properties that help relieve stress and restlessness.


Other information

It can be difficult, especially for children, to live with facial tics. Teachers, classmates and even parents may not understand how difficult is that tics can’t be controlled. The tic is especially uncomfortable when others will ask the child to stop or it could be laughing for these tics.

Tics, from the repetitive blinking to facial grimacing, are quite embarrassing and uncomfortable for both children and adults and attempt to control them is very exhausting and can cause tics stop obsession criticism, loss of confidence and even social anxiety.

Facial tics do not require treatment in most cases, but if Tourette syndrome, patients may receive antipsychotics, which are helpful including the treatment of diseases such as schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder or obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

However, these drugs are not designed to cure facial tics and may not always be effective. Depression, insomnia, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, anxiety are just some of the many unwanted side effects that may be caused by such drugs.

Some of these medications can even worsen tics term. However, there are natural ways and even psychotherapy, which could improve facial tics, natural strategies with no negative side effects.

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