General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Why do some people get water up their nose Rss Feed  
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2010-10-15 2:44 PM

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Subject: Why do some people get water up their nose
I don't understand why some people get water up their nose and need to wear a nose clip. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with them, but I just don't know the reasons behind it.  I was swimming with a friend last week and he says that as soon as he puts his head under water (even when not swimming), water rushes up his nose. He has lost his nose clip in a couple of triathlons and really struggled as he really can't swim without it. When I put my head under water, I neve get water up my nose - it just doesn't happen, as with most people. What is stopping water going up my nose, but not working for my friend. 

Edited by lengthcroft 2010-10-15 2:50 PM


2010-10-15 2:51 PM
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Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
lengthcroft - 2010-10-15 3:44 PM I don't understand why some people get water up their nose and need to wear a nose clip. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with them, but I just don't know the reasons behind it.  I was swimming with a friend last week and he says that as soon as he puts his head under water (even when not swimming), water rushes up his nose. He has lost his nose clip in a couple of triathlons and really struggled as he really can't swim without it. When I put my head under water, I neve get water up my nose - it just doesn't happen, as with most people. What is stopping water going up my nose, but not working for my friend. 


Air. 
2010-10-15 3:05 PM
in reply to: #3154828

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Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
Exhale.

Maybe some people just have more open air passages that allow water in more easily.  I have never had that problem unless I am doing a lot of flipturns and not exhaling.  Just putting my head under water I don't have any problems with water making its way up my nose.
2010-10-15 3:07 PM
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Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
I guess its a natural reaction to blow air out of my nose when I am underwater. Learned to do this as a child and it has become ingrained into my soul?
2010-10-15 3:25 PM
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Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
Initially it's because they aren't used to closing their nasal passage and exhaling. 
2010-10-15 3:49 PM
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Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
tophermcdougall - 2010-10-15 3:25 PM Initially it's because they aren't used to closing their nasal passage and exhaling. 


I'm not sure how you close your nasal passages but most swimmers exhale through their noses primarily when swimming thus no water up there.  I admit I wear a plug on backstroke events to get farther off the walls.  I also wear one when I use the snorkel/dorkel.


2010-10-15 4:16 PM
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Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose

They're either not exhaling at all, or not hard enough.  There's nothing complex about it.

2010-10-15 4:16 PM
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Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
Because they're doing flip turns.. Laughing
2010-10-15 4:49 PM
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Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
When I was younger (~10 years ago maybe) I went to Stanford swim camp.  We were working on our underwater dolphin kicks for backstroke and the coach taught us how to deal with this problem.  Just snort water up your nose before you start your swim.  It is crazy...and I didn't do it often, but it works since there is no room for more water to enter your nasal passages.  

Just be prepared for it to start dribbling out at awkward times after your race/practice. ha!

Drew 
2010-10-15 5:05 PM
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Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
H20 Killer - 2010-10-15 1:49 PM I'm not sure how you close your nasal passages but most swimmers exhale through their noses primarily when swimming thus no water up there.  I admit I wear a plug on backstroke events to get farther off the walls.  I also wear one when I use the snorkel/dorkel.


I exhale as well. What I meant by "closing the nasal passage" was basically holding your breath and making sure not to let yourself inhale. I don't know any other term for it. Most people can hold their breath underwater without exhaling and still not get water up their nose. The times that happened to me where I did get water up my nose was when I accidentally inhaled, so for those that have trouble perhaps they're involuntarily doing that. 
2010-10-16 2:15 PM
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Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
I have an immune system disorder (the most common) called immunoglobulin A deficiency (IGA).  Basically I'm missing much needed antibodies in my mucus and am incredibly susceptible to sinus, urinary, prostate etc. infections.  Anywhere mucus is secreted as a defense, I don't have it.  I swim in a pool without a nose clip, I'm going to get a sinus infection.  Hence, the nose clip.  I also suffer from severe allergies as well.  Any chlorine up the nose will ruin my day.  Although I'm sure many people wear it for improper breathing techniques, I need it for other reasons.

Edited by kssandr 2010-10-16 2:17 PM


2017-07-10 11:07 AM
in reply to: lengthcroft


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Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
People who don't have this condition have no business telling those of us to do what is wrong with us. Since I do have this condition, let me give you some insight.

1. I am over 60 years old and have been unable to swim without nose plugs from the earliest I can remember.

2. The inside of my nose appears to be overly sensitive to water, so much so that it can hurt even if I get water up my nose in the shower. And it doesn't have to be a lot of water. Surprisingly, not all nasal sprays bother me the same way. It doesn't matter if the water is tap water, treated pool water, or "natural" water in lakes and ponds. It still hurts.

3. I've never experimented with distilled water. Surprisingly, not all nasal sprays bother me.

4. Although I LOVED playing in the water my whole life, this condition prevented me from learning how to swim well until I learned about nose plugs and convinced my parents to buy me some -- and I've used them ever since. Prior to that, I tried bobby pins and other things -- none of which did a good job and eventually came off. Usually, I just plugged my nose with my fingers. No one believed me that my nose hurt and they said or implied that I was just "not trying" or I was a sissy.

5. Yes, I've been told by many well-meaning but uninformed "friends" and strangers that all I have to do is "breathe out" or blow out of my nose. I've tried. More times than you can imagine. It doesn't work for multiple reasons -- too numerous to go into here. But see #6.

6. When swimming, let's say doing the back stroke, you are on your back the entire time. You have to breathe IN and OUT. When breathing in, water invariably splashes into the nose and the game is over. Ditto for the side stroke or even the front crawl or another stroke while face down. Even going down a slide at a water park isn't safe.

7. Don't you people with all the advice think that if we could figure out how to swim without nose plugs that we would? I envy my 3YO grandson being able to do something I can't do -- get in the water and play without fear of getting water in his nose. I have been unable to go swimming the numerous times during my life when an unexpected opportunity arose and I didn't happen to have nose plugs.

I am convinced that the minority of us who NEED nose plugs have something anatomically or physiologically different from everyone else. Since there isn't a compelling reason to research this issue, we may never know that reason. And, with the many reasons why people are different - from genetics to gestational issues to prior illnesses to environmental issues and the like - it may never be known.*

IN SUMMARY: We aren't babies or sissies. Yes, we know how to blow out our noses -- and we've tried. Many, if not most, of us LOVE to swim (with nose plugs).

GIVE PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO WEAR NOSE PLUGS THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. IF A CHILD SAYS SHE CAN'T SWIM WITHOUT NOSE PLUGS, DON'T BLAME AND BELITTLE HER. GIVE HER SOME *QUALITY* NOSE PLUGS AND TEACH HER HOW TO USE THEM SO SHE CAN HAVE FUN WITH THE REST OF THE KIDS IN THE WATER!

Signed: Still swimming, WITH NOSE PLUGS, in my seventh decade of life.



* I have never needed ear plugs for swimming. I have also never blamed or belittled or made fun of those who do.



2017-07-10 1:34 PM
in reply to: karendavisfb

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Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
Originally posted by karendavisfb

People who don't have this condition have no business telling those of us to do what is wrong with us. Since I do have this condition, let me give you some insight.

1. I am over 60 years old and have been unable to swim without nose plugs from the earliest I can remember.

2. The inside of my nose appears to be overly sensitive to water, so much so that it can hurt even if I get water up my nose in the shower. And it doesn't have to be a lot of water. Surprisingly, not all nasal sprays bother me the same way. It doesn't matter if the water is tap water, treated pool water, or "natural" water in lakes and ponds. It still hurts.

3. I've never experimented with distilled water. Surprisingly, not all nasal sprays bother me.

4. Although I LOVED playing in the water my whole life, this condition prevented me from learning how to swim well until I learned about nose plugs and convinced my parents to buy me some -- and I've used them ever since. Prior to that, I tried bobby pins and other things -- none of which did a good job and eventually came off. Usually, I just plugged my nose with my fingers. No one believed me that my nose hurt and they said or implied that I was just "not trying" or I was a sissy.

5. Yes, I've been told by many well-meaning but uninformed "friends" and strangers that all I have to do is "breathe out" or blow out of my nose. I've tried. More times than you can imagine. It doesn't work for multiple reasons -- too numerous to go into here. But see #6.

6. When swimming, let's say doing the back stroke, you are on your back the entire time. You have to breathe IN and OUT. When breathing in, water invariably splashes into the nose and the game is over. Ditto for the side stroke or even the front crawl or another stroke while face down. Even going down a slide at a water park isn't safe.

7. Don't you people with all the advice think that if we could figure out how to swim without nose plugs that we would? I envy my 3YO grandson being able to do something I can't do -- get in the water and play without fear of getting water in his nose. I have been unable to go swimming the numerous times during my life when an unexpected opportunity arose and I didn't happen to have nose plugs.

I am convinced that the minority of us who NEED nose plugs have something anatomically or physiologically different from everyone else. Since there isn't a compelling reason to research this issue, we may never know that reason. And, with the many reasons why people are different - from genetics to gestational issues to prior illnesses to environmental issues and the like - it may never be known.*

IN SUMMARY: We aren't babies or sissies. Yes, we know how to blow out our noses -- and we've tried. Many, if not most, of us LOVE to swim (with nose plugs).

GIVE PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO WEAR NOSE PLUGS THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. IF A CHILD SAYS SHE CAN'T SWIM WITHOUT NOSE PLUGS, DON'T BLAME AND BELITTLE HER. GIVE HER SOME *QUALITY* NOSE PLUGS AND TEACH HER HOW TO USE THEM SO SHE CAN HAVE FUN WITH THE REST OF THE KIDS IN THE WATER!

Signed: Still swimming, WITH NOSE PLUGS, in my seventh decade of life.



* I have never needed ear plugs for swimming. I have also never blamed or belittled or made fun of those who do.







  • ..seems kinda ... odd..., to join a forum, and dig up a 7 year old thread for your first post. It is a well-written piece, tho

  • 2017-07-19 4:37 PM
    in reply to: #3154828


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    Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
    Not too odd. They make valid points. Maybe he didn't look at the dates of the original posts and was understandably frustrated with them. I came across it through Google just today by searching for nose clips and swimming. Both my son and I have the same problem. I never learned to swim because of it. When we realized he was struggling with the same issue we didn't hesitate to get the nose clip. We tried everything, lesson after lesson, and he was beginning to hate swimming. He tried blowing out his nose. It just didn't work. Nose plug on and a couple weeks later he is swimming like a fish and constantly asks to go. I hope he never comes across people who judge him negatively for wearing one. If you don't need one so what. If you do, so what!
    2017-07-20 12:51 PM
    in reply to: MRGE18


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    Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
    There could be a physiological reason for some folks.
    I know I have ear issues. Nothing earplugs can't solve.

    I play and teach bagpipes. I've always said I could teach anyone....from age 9 to 90 to reach some level of satisfaction. But I'm wrong.
    You learn on a practice thingy (about as loud and big and requires as much air as a recorder)...
    I've run in to two people...out of...I dunno....100 or so?...who couldn't make the leap to the real thing.

    And it was a physiological issue. They were unable to close things/seal off things....like unable to use nose and mouth independently or something. My wife is a speech path and she totally knew what it was. I don't understand the physiology of it...or whether this would specifically be a problem in swimming. But, it wouldn't surprise me if there was 'something' that some small percentage of people have to deal with that would, at the very least, require finding tricks to get around....or having to use a nose plug.

    But I'm no doctor. Except when something doesn't seem right....then I can internet diagnose myself....and it's always something horrible that will result in untimely death. But, somehow I miraculously beat it.
    2017-07-20 1:57 PM
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    Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose

    Originally posted by MRGE18 Not too odd. They make valid points. Maybe he didn't look at the dates of the original posts and was understandably frustrated with them. I came across it through Google just today by searching for nose clips and swimming. Both my son and I have the same problem. I never learned to swim because of it. When we realized he was struggling with the same issue we didn't hesitate to get the nose clip. We tried everything, lesson after lesson, and he was beginning to hate swimming. He tried blowing out his nose. It just didn't work. Nose plug on and a couple weeks later he is swimming like a fish and constantly asks to go. I hope he never comes across people who judge him negatively for wearing one. If you don't need one so what. If you do, so what!

    It's deftly suggesting the poster take the figurative step back & deep breath to see just that before continuing in an agitated state. Fixing the entire internet seems to be quite the task.



    Edited by brigby1 2017-07-20 2:02 PM


    2017-07-22 1:16 PM
    in reply to: lengthcroft

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    Subject: RE: Why do some people get water up their nose
    Originally posted by lengthcroft

    I don't understand why some people get water up their nose and need to wear a nose clip. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with them, but I just don't know the reasons behind it.  I was swimming with a friend last week and he says that as soon as he puts his head under water (even when not swimming), water rushes up his nose. He has lost his nose clip in a couple of triathlons and really struggled as he really can't swim without it. When I put my head under water, I neve get water up my nose - it just doesn't happen, as with most people. What is stopping water going up my nose, but not working for my friend. 


    Ahhh, I have negative pressure in my right ear, which if you know anything about the ears, nose and, throat, you would understand that just wants to rush into negative pressure. Not saying this is going on with them but they can get a tympanogram to find out.
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