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Dianne-TX

Habit of sniffing nose in ds9. Help!

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My son seems to have developed a habit of sniffing his nose. I've asked him why he's sniffing and he'll say, "I don't know. I don't have anything in there, I just do it." Other times, he definitely needs to blow his nose after sneezing or something, but this isn't the case all the time. I remember my grandfather snorting and hacking a lot, but I think he had allergies a lot. My older brother sniffs a lot too, but he (ahem) chose to do some illegal things "nasally" in his teenage years and on and off in adulthood, so I chalked it up to him ruining his nasal passages, but it could be something else too. DS has allergies, but not chronically. Are habits hereditary? I told him today that every time I hear him sniffing and he doesn't need to blow his nose, he's paying me a quarter. :glare: Any ideas on how to stop this?

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LOL - I posted something very similar about my 6 year old about a month ago. He does the exact same thing. I think his upper sinuses swell a bit due to allergies and he does the snuffing because it feels funny. I started giving him flonase and it has really helped. :)

 

ETA: Once I knew he was no longer swollen, I think he kept doing it out of habit. I started gently reminding him to stop and now, he finally has.

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I told him today that every time I hear him sniffing and he doesn't need to blow his nose, he's paying me a quarter. :glare: Any ideas on how to stop this?

 

 

Please don't do this. Snorts, sniffs, throat clearing, etc., are all possible tics associated with Tourrette's syndrome. Yes, it can be hereditary. It can also be transient and go away after awhile. It might be allergies, who knows. But on the outside chance these are symptoms of a motor tic disorder, and as one who suffers from Tourrette's, please don't put pressure on your child to stop his sniffing. It could cause him extreme emotional stress and make him feel like a failure or a weirdo. Trust me on this. This is what happened to me. I was constantly told to stop it. I was told I was nervous and had no self control. I thought that because I COULD. NOT. STOP. my tics, though I tried my little heart out, I must be a complete freak!

 

If I were you, I would wait and see. If he is still sniffing after 6 months ( of course, assuming you have ruled out other medical reasons), take him to a neurologist specializing in motion disorders. (NOT AN ORDINARY PEDIATRITIAN) The fact that you have relatives with repetitive oral sounds means there IS a possibility this is a hereditary tic. (NOT the same thing as a "habit"!) Of course it may not be, but it could be and you wouldn't want him to feel badly about himself.

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I agree with katemary. While it could possibly be a habit, or allergies, it could also be a tic disorder. I have never been diagnosed, but I'm sure that I have a tic disorder. I don't think I have it as severe as Tourette's. And I believe my DD has probably inherited it as well. If it is a tic, he has no control over it. Think of it like an itch. You can try to ignore it but the senstion builds and builds and builds until you just have to scratch it. And then you feel relief. You can ignore it and do nothing about it for a given period of time, but then you just have to.

 

It's very likely that it is not a tic, but just in case it is, I do agree with katemary. And I have allergies too so I'm all about the sniffling for that as well LOL.

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Thanks for mentioning the possibility that he isn't able to stop it. I never thought of that because it's not something that is diagnosed in my family. The things from the other two family members were not overdone, so it wasn't like we all wondered why they couldn't stop. But, I'll keep watching it and see if it's seasonal or when he has nasal things going on. I will change my stance on having him give me a quarter every time he does it. Even if it isn't a tic, it could be swollen like one poster said and once that goes away, the sniffing might too. But, either way, he might not be able to help it. Thanks for the responses.

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I used to clear my throat a lot when I was a kid. The doctors told my mom I was just trying to annoy her. She knew I was not and persisted--turns out I had asthma. I'm not connecting any dots in your case, just keep a casual eye on it :)

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One of my sisters has 'mild' Tourette's and this is exactly what she did as a child, along with flicking her hair back constantly. No amount of shaming worked, but the right meds did.

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My son has a facial tic that is related to a food allergy. We haven't found all the culprits, but when we've eliminated some allergens, it got better. My daughter had a throat clearing "habit" that was related to a food intolerance as well. Once we removed the offending food, the throat clearing disappeared. I would look for a cause before going to behavior mod approaches.

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