From time to time all of us have to go through the rather nasty experience of having a load of chemically pool water shoot up our nose. For some it is a real problem and can mean that they are unable to swim underwater or to jump into the pool. For these people they simply have not been taught how to breathe in the correct way which gives them the ability to close their nasal passages. Pool water in the lungs is not only a painful and sometimes panic-inducing experience; it is also dangerous and can lead to chest and lung infections, particularly in children.
The easiest way to prevent water from entering the nasal passage is to wear a nose clip. Nose clips are great for removing the worry of water getting up your nose so that you can concentrate on your technique fully, and can also help you to regulate your breathing in the pool. However, a nose clip must be worn correctly to avoid it causing breathing problems. Place the clip over the nose with the padded pieces over both nostrils and the hard horizontal piece across the bridge of the nose. Test your placement by dipping your head under the water; if water and air are unable to get up your nose the clip is on correctly. Remember to get into the rhythm of expelling air out of your mouth while you are below the water, and sucking air in through your mouth when you surface. Do not try to push air out of your nose while you are wearing a clip as it may cause damage to your nose and ears.
If you would like a more permanent solution of your problem, you should try to teach yourself the correct way of breathing. It really is very simple, but quite hard to explain but I will try my best! First of all practice at home with a large bowl half filled with water. Slowly lower your face into the water and begin to blow air out of your nose before you dip below the surface. Continue to blow bubbles from your nose until you find a balance where water is not flowing into your nose, but air is not being blown out. Sounds difficult, but it really isn’t once you give it a try! You will soon find that you have reached a sort of equilibrium which will feel comfortable and natural. Once you have mastered this head for your local pool.
When you are in the pool start swimming through the water and use the new technique to stop any water from getting up your nose. When you feel confident enough, dip your head under the water blowing bubbles all the time until you find your equilibrium. If this is easy flip onto your back or jump into the pool; you will find that different activities require different ‘bubble blowing strengths’!
Good luck and keep at it! Sometimes the body’s natural reaction to a certain situation (in this case having your face in the water) will take a little while to adapt. Be patient and you will get there.