Why Wear Nose Plugs for Swimming?

Swim gear

There’s a real stigma to wearing nose clips while swimming and I’m not sure why. I’ve been seeing more and more swimmers, and even pros, in both the pool and open water wearing them. I remember when I wore them for the first time, I felt so self-conscience. But as I’ve been wearing them, I could care less what other people think. I know they work and help prevent water from going up my nose and into my sinuses.

Some say that Nose Clips are Just for Beginners

That may be true to an extent. When I first started, the water was going up my nose and I was choking on it. Therefore, my swim coach insisted I use them. After that, I was able to swim with no problem.

Benefits of Nose Plugs

In recent years, there has been a ton of research found that nose plugs are beneficial because:

  • they help alleviate sinus pressure
  • they help prevent sinus infections if you are prone
  • they help you focus on breathing through your mouth
  • they help with the allergens in the chlorine
  • they help to prevent taking in too much chlorine in your nose

A Note From a Reader

mike wearing nose plugs

One of my followers reached out after my article about Strange things Happen at the Pool. He said:

“I have had so many strange comments at the pool that they are too many to count. I know that you wear a nose clip when you swim as I do. I imagine that the woman who made the comment about how she can always spot a swimmer who learned to swim as an adult was basing it on the fact that you wear a nose clip.

I have had swimmers ask me that same thing. Some lap swimmers wear nose clips because they do get water up their nose but many also wear them because the pool chemicals bother their sinuses, which is the case with me.

I am 54 and have been wearing a nose clip when swimming since I was 20. I had tried nasal sprays and washes but nothing worked until I tried wearing a nose clip which instantly solved the problem.

The days when people used to say swimmers should never wear nose clips are long gone.

Many competitive college and high school swimmers now wear them not only for the backstroke but for all strokes – check out the University of Wisconsin.

This is because wearing a nose clip has proven to give swimmers with strong underwater leg kicks an advantage on all underwater turns off the wall.

I encourage swimmers to use or wear anything that makes them feel most comfortable in the water. So when ignorant people like the woman you encountered at the pool make stupid comments like that just ignore them for what they are, just plain ignorant,”

Mike Terhaar

My Takeaway

If you want to wear nose plugs, wear them. If they make you feel physically better and it helps to alleviate the sinus problems, then who cares how they look. We all look silly in the pool and in the open water between the bathing cap, goggles, wetsuits, booties, and sometimes even gloves. It’s not a beauty pageant. If it makes you efficient and you swim better, use it and keep on swimming!

P.S. Thanks Mike for contributing!