What are tics?
Tics are rapid movements or sounds that are repeated over and over for no reason. A person with a tic can't control the movement or sounds. Throat clearing and eye blinking are common tics. Tics are often worse when a person feels stressed, tired or anxious. Some medicines can make tics worse.
If a child has Tourette syndrome, the tics usually start when he or she is between 3 and 10 years of age. The movements and sounds come and go, and usually they aren't a severe problem. It is possible for your child to have a tic but not have Tourette syndrome. Talk to your family doctor if you think your child may have a tic or Tourette syndrome.
Will my child outgrow this?
Most tics go away after a few months. However, sometimes a person will have 1 or 2 tics for many years. Children who have Tourette syndrome usually have their worst symptoms when they are between 9 and 13 years of age. Over half of these children get much better during the teen years and in early adulthood. Less than half of the people who have Tourette syndrome as children have moderate to severe tics as adults.
Recognition and Management of Tourette's Syndrome and Tic Disorders by MM Bagheri, J Kerbeshian, L Burd (American Family Physician April 15, 1999, http://www.aafp.org/afp/990415ap/2263.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff