Swimming with Nose Restrictions


Do you or someone you know have the following?

  • Deviated septum
  • Nasal polyps
  • Rhinitis allergies
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sinusitis
  • Broken nose from sports injuries
  • Benign Tumors

If you have any of the above, I do not have to tell you that breathing through your nose is difficult. You probably have already become a ‘mouth breather’. I have great empathy for you. My husband has a deviated septum and exhaling through his nose while swimming is an issue for him. Of course, he would love to ‘swim breathe’. Exhaling properly from his nose while swimming is difficult as well as it is for other people with any of the other listed issues.

How does one swim when you have a restricted nose passage? I have a few suggestions…
The first is, to swim the breast stroke, side stroke, or back stroke. All of these strokes will leave your mouth (mostly) free to breathe. All of these strokes are good cardio and will keep you fit.

I know you would like to do the freestyle. It is a lovely stroke to behold. You can still do the freestyle stroke-while breathing from your mouth only. Exhale gently from the mouth. Turn your head to the side to take a breath of air. I learn this from hubby! (You can teach old dog new tricks)!

Another way to do make this work is to invest in a good-quality snorkel mask. Once you learn how to use your snorkel mask, your life will be much simpler when doing the freestyle stroke.

Another suggestion is to invest in nose clips. (They are not called nose plugs. Yes, I am a purist). There are many, many kinds of nose clips. They are inexpensive and made by many companies. Find a pair that are comfortable for you and fit your nose properly. Many competitive swimmers wear nose clips when doing the back stroke.
Stay tuned for more articles about swimming with nose restrictions!

If you have any questions regarding your nose issues or concerns during swimming, consult with your health care professional.

Happy swimming!

Guest post by Barbie Nelis

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: