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  #1  
Old 08-21-2011
collinsdc collinsdc is offline
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Default Blocked nose issues & Chlorine

Hi all, this may not be posted in the right forum category but recently my attention to my freestyle improvement has been hindered by nasal & breathing problems. Namely a blocked nose either during practice or for a couple of hours after I swim.

I have never had these issues before but lately my local pool seems to reek of chlorine & I believe this may be to counteract the increased numbers of kids & holidaymakers it receives during the summer months. Unfortunately I am many miles away from any other pool.

I tend to keep my distance from medicines & their chemical ingredients unless absolutely necessary so I gave a nose clip a go for a while but I could not get used to it, & time spent in the steam room after a swim did not help the congestion either. I was not keen to go down the route of neti-pots & saline solutions or plugging my nostrils with Vaseline & I would never consider antihistamines for regular use. So I persevered with the congested nose after the swim & tended to swim early in the morning, by lunchtime the congestion had gone & this ensured a nights sleep.

A few days ago a friend who swims regularly recommended a nasal spray called Sterimar. I was reluctant at first but this spray is 100% natural, it is made from purified water & sea water & is easily available at the chemist.


SO has it worked? Well for me I am happy to say that it has.
Several swims later I am no longer suffering from a blocked nose either during or after I swim & I can swim in the evenings as well without fear of losing a nights sleep. A quick shot up each nostril & the same repeated after the swim works for me & it has eliminated all my previous symptoms.

I am hoping that once the pool I frequent becomes less busy over the next few weeks the chlorine levels will also return to normal & I may not have to use this spray at all.

As I said at the beginning, this post may have little to relate to TI freestyle but a blocked nose was certainly ruining my chances of any practice or improvement & I merely pass on my experience in the hope that it may be of use to others.

Denis.
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Old 08-22-2011
aerogramma aerogramma is offline
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Thanks for the good advice denis...
I wonder if that saline water solution could be done at home too... I use to do it using a particular ceramic pot and it worked :)
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Old 08-22-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Thanks, Dennis, I am going to try this out.

Basically it is nose rinsing with salt water.
I got used to use a nose clip, but wouldn't mind getting rid of it. While the reason for the nose congestion seems to be not quite clear - some have it in pool water ( with chlorine) and in OW (without chlorine) - I did a few swims in a lake this summer without noseclip and I had no problems. So might be chlorine related in my case.

By the way it is not so bad if a 'just' swim, but if I do rotation movements like a flip turn or do skating or core balance drills and rotate to air it immediately gets worse.

Anyway, I'll give it a chance. We'll see.
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Old 08-22-2011
collinsdc collinsdc is offline
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I agree with the issues that flip turns can bring especially if you do get a snout full of water - not pleasant. When I was suffering I gave them a rest during drilling & in whole stroke for a while because I thought I might be making the symptoms worse by doing turns but the congestion still happened anyway.

I am now back to doing flip turns in all my drill & whole stroke practice & I spent an hour in the pool this evening working through all drills & left with no congestion whatsoever - brilliant!

No doubt home made saline solutions may work if you did fancy making them but I have read that some household salt can contain Iodine & other ingredients which are added as anti-caking agents & these can irritate sensitive sinuses even more if care is not taken.

The beauty of this spray is it comes in a small pressurised container making usage simple & without mess & it is also 100% natural so can be used when needed, some medicated nasal sprays can be addictive with regular use.

I get nothing for these advertisments by the way, I simply mention the product that helped me alleviate the congested nose after a swim.
I did not suffer from this in the past when I swam but when the reaction happened ( which I suspect is due to excessive chlorine levels ) it was horrible & I sincerely sympathise with anyone who suffers all the time from a congested nose, it really does make you consider giving up swimming which I absolutely love now thanks to Total Immersion.

Best of luck to you all in your progress.

Denis.
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Old 08-23-2011
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by collinsdc View Post
No doubt home made saline solutions may work if you did fancy making them but I have read that some household salt can contain Iodine.
I recently picked up a Rhino Horn, which is similar to a NetiPot. Check it out on the Net. Comes with a measuring spoon for PLAIN salt (no iodine), to be mixed with lukewarm water.

The pharmacist recommended it for simple nasal cleansing, but stated that she doesn't use it every day. Another friend does, however, with no adverse affects.
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Old 08-23-2011
cynthiam cynthiam is offline
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I use a squeeze bottle and pre-made powder (sodium bicarbonate + sodium chloride) made for this purpose, with warm filtered water. Every night. Works well for me. I tried a neti pot, but I need some pressure to get past a blockage.
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Old 08-23-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Did a swim this morning and used no nose clip but a nasal spray that is almost identical to Sterimar, just another brand (You get Sterimar also here, but the pharmacy happened to have this other brand). I used it before and after the swim and my nose is almost ok. But it is not worse than using a nose clip, so I think I'll drop the nose clip.

Great, thanks for the post!
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Old 08-24-2011
gdprun gdprun is offline
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Default Had the same chlorine issue

collinsdc,
I had the same issue as you. There were some evenings after swimming I could not breathe and had to take some nasal spray. This was a varing condition, I guess based on the club's chlorine maintenance plan. I tried saline nasal spray after a swim for a flush, but no luck. It go so bad that I had to make a switch to an athletic club that has a saline pool- NO chlorine! (Lucky here). WOW- what a difference. I also started to use a Neti-pot every night as a preventive flush. It has to be the levels of chlorine because I do fine at the occasional public pools and in fresh water - Lakes Michigan and Erie!
Also, I tried a nose plug and couldn't get use to it. I like exhaling through my nose. I did initially use it during some on the TI drills because I was getting a lot of chlorine water in my nose as I rotated to air. I let the clip go as the drill and swimming techniques improved but the chlorine was still there.
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Old 08-24-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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I had a lot of trouble with blocked nose and sneezing after swimming. I understand it's partly the chlorine and partly the chloramines that hang in a cloud over the surface of the water. I found that a saline wash after swimming helped considerably but the actual cure was a nose clip. I am not keen on the nose clip but now that I have got used to it I find that I can actually breathe out through my nose quite easily.

I never use the nose clip in competition, although I notice that a lot of elite backstrokers do.
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Old 08-25-2011
collinsdc collinsdc is offline
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It is a pity that the health benefits of swimming & the enjoyment & relaxation that being in the water brings can be cancelled out by the chlorine & poorly maintained pools.

Human nature too plays a big part, many people avoid pre-showering before a swim & I have lost count of the number of times I have clearly caught the strong smell of perfumes or deodorants in the pool. Apparently these can react with the pools chemicals as well & bring about problems/allergies.

I am going to invest in a wetsuit for next summer & head to open water when I can in order to avoid the crowds & the excess of chlorine. It will be my first try at OW swimming. Even in our " summer" water temperatures can be as low as 11 degrees centigrade but it sure beats a congested nose & all the other problems associated with it!

Denis.
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