We all know that uncomfortable feeling of water rushing up our noses while swimming. It’s uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and it leaves you in a coughing or sneezing fit. The solution to avoiding this is right under your nose! Well, almost. It’s on your nose.
So what is the purpose of using a nose clip while swimming, and why should you use one? Whether you’re swimming for recreational or competition purposes, a nose clip can do wonders for you.
With this guide, you’ll better understand the purpose of using a swimming nose clip, as well as which nose clips are the best and what the benefits are.
Who Uses A Swimming Nose Clip?
You’ve probably watched the Olympics and seen competitive and synchronized swimmers wearing them. But nose plugs aren’t just for the professionals; anyone can use them.
That said, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a matter of personal preference. Most swimmers that partake in water sports or competitive swimming choose to wear a nose clip because it can help enhance their performance while stopping water from entering their nose.
The Advantages Of Using A Nose Clip While Swimming
Sure they’re not the most flattering piece of swim equipment, but they benefit you in more ways than one. Let’s take a look at the main advantages of using a nose clip while swimming.
They protect your nose
A swimming nose clip’s main purpose is to stop water from entering your nose and flooding your sinuses while swimming. Chlorinated water can irritate the nose’s delicate membranes, which can cause that awful sneezing fit you’ve probably experienced when you come up for air.
But it’s not only for those swimming in a pool; you can also use it in other bodies of water like the ocean. Open-water swims give you greater exposure to bacteria that can cause infections. A blocked nose or pesky sinus infection can be bothersome for anyone, and introducing a nose clip to your swim gear can help prevent that.
They improve your swimming performance
Breathing serves a major role in your swimming performance. When swimmers perform the dolphin kicking phase of their stroke or a flip turn, they spend a good amount of time underwater holding their breath. But how does a nose clip help them here?
A nose clip cuts off the oxygen supply to your nose and helps you control your exhale through your mouth so that you’re not constantly breathing through your nose to keep water out. You’re not releasing as much air as you would without one, meaning you can focus more on your swimming technique.
By using a nose clip, swimming can become a whole different game for you.
The Best Nose Clips & How To Use Them
Now that you know the benefits of using a nose clip, you’re probably more intrigued by them. But which is the best and how do you use it?
Picking a nose clip that works best for you is relatively easy. All nose clips are shaped like a ‘U’ and can either have a strap or be strapless. The U shape will fit over the bridge of your nose, and the two padded ends will press down on your nostrils, pushing them together to prevent water from flowing in.
A nose clip with a strap is just there to hold the nose clip in place without falling off. The strap connects to the ends of the nose clip and secures over your swim cap. However, many swimmers dislike these as the straps tend to break from repeated use. Strapless nose clips are usually the better option and last longer.
The key features you should look out for with a nose clip are that they should have soft, silicone pads and don’t stretch out of shape too easily. Let’s look at some of the best nose clips:
- Lightweight and waterproof competition nose clip has a secure and comfortable fit
- TPR nose pads for comfort
- Adjustable stainless steel frame
- Low profile fit
This nose clip is a classic choice for swimmers. With a lightweight feel and low-profile look, this nose clip has a secure and comfortable fit with TPR nose pads and an adjustable stainless steel frame.
This low-profile nose clip is designed to minimize pressure on the bridge of the nose with an ‘engineered design’ and is made from soft silicone for comfort when worn.
- Lightweight flexible nylon frame
- Improved frame shape fits the contour of the nose bridge
- Soft TPR pads provide a tight fit
Rather than having a stiff wire frame like the Competition Nose Clip, this nose plug has a lightweight, flexible nylon frame that perfectly fits the contour of the nose bridge.
All these nose clips come with a carrying case, so you’ll never have to worry about losing them.
Is A Swimming Nose Clip For You?
Many assume because they’re not professional swimmers, they don’t need swimming nose plugs. But know that you don’t have to be a professional anything to use performance gear. Using a nose plug to swim is definitely a personal choice to consider and test out for benefits.
If you’re someone that suffers from sinus issues, nose plugs can be your best friend. Like earplugs, nose plugs help those prone to infections and allergic reactions. So if you struggle with that every time you hop in the pool, consider adding one to your basket the next time you’re shopping – they’re very affordable.
If you’re a budding competitive swimmer or water sports player, know that wearing a swimming nose clip can likely change how you perform. It can be a helpful tool if you’re struggling to breathe efficiently during practice or competition.
Some shy away from the nose clip in fear of looking “uncool” or “silly”, but if you look past how this small device may look on your face, you’ll quickly realize how great of an investment it actually is. Just ask American former swimming superstar and five-time Olympic gold medalist, Missy Franklin!
With a nose plug, you’ll be able to enjoy swimming while protecting your nose, controlling your breathing, and making noticeable improvements to your strokes.
So the next time you go for a swim, think about how much different your experience could be with a swimming nose clip.
Herbert is a swimming enthusiast. Started career working as a lifeguard, and in pool maintenance. He loves to share his experience and recommendation on this blog.