Sniffing tics

Sniffing is a common tic experienced by those with Tourette and tic disorders.

They can be classed as vocal or motor tics depending on the intended action.

Sniffing can be a simple or complex tic

Sniffing as a simple tic would be a short, sniffing sound and/or movement.

It would become a complex tic if it was longer in duration, coinciding with other tics and/or muscle groups.

More can be read on the difference between simple and complex tics here.

Sniffing can be mentally and physically draining

These tics can cause a sore, dry throat.

Vocal tics can also be a distraction in environments such as classrooms and libraries. Children and adults alike can be vulnerable to feelings of embarrassment and bullying from others.

Sniffing can be perceived as being unwell, particularly during the recent pandemic. It can also bring on accusations of drug use, problematic for many reasons, especially in the workplace.

Letting teachers and employees know about the situation can help those in the same environment gain a better understanding.

Sniffing could be a symptom of various tic disorders

Tics disorders are diagnosed depending on how many tics are present, and how long they have occurred. 

Sniffing may be a tic, but could be something else entirely. It is important to speak to a specialist regarding these to help determine the cause.

Getting advice

The below link provides information on how to find local support worldwide for Tourette syndrome, tic disorders and associated conditions.

Support Near You

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Disclaimer: Articles contain lived experience and research but cannot be used to diagnose. Diagnosis can only be obtained from a licensed professional.

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