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Swimming - Cold like symptoms

Any one else have problems with cold like symptoms after swimming?

I come home after a swim and i'm forever sneezing, blowing my nose and bunged up. This usually lasts for 24 hours or so.

I've tried vaseline up the nose but that didn't seem to work.

Any other suggestions?


  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Hi ,there was a thread a couple of months ago about this but as the search system at this site is kaput I can't seem to find it.Numerous people gave answers ranging from pool chemical imbalance as they could not replicate the symptoms if swimming in fresh water,The roof of the pool being low and the lack of air circulation caused sneezing but a higher roofed pool,or outdoor pool gave no symptoms and numerous others that I cannot remember.Try breathing a warm Olbas oil vapour to clear your nose.
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    I believe the thread had something like 'chlorine allergy ' in it's title!!?

  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Had a look before posting thread and could not find anything.

    Have just tried chlorine allergy - no dice?
  • I think this link will get you there:-


    I also have this problem

  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    GHarv wrote:

    Had a look before posting thread and could not find anything.

    Have just tried chlorine allergy - no dice?

    That damn search stuff isn't working for a few weeks already now.

    Lots of threads that already been written before.

    I suppose the people who run this forum really don't look after it. Can't be that hard for them to fix it?

    Seems to me they just don't bother, as seen in the past with all that spam s*/t![:@]
  • Easy, Benny, easy..... but yeah, good point. How long has search been broken now?

    Anyway, post-swim cold symptoms are usually caused by:

    a) dirty water

    b) too much chlorine

    c) poor ventilation

    d) water too hot

    e) any combination of the above

    I went on at length about this in the thread pointed to above. Here's my post: http://forum.220magazine.com/fwd.asp?messageID=9311

  • Ive only just come into tri as dont like the running but i have always swum at least 3 times a week for the last 30 years it sounds like the chemical in the pool i know a lot have changed from the chlorine to a powder chemical which for me made it worse sneezing fits when get out the pool and blocked for a good few hours later also had probs with weezing

    i use ear plugs for the swimming which have helped strangely enough but may be worth trying a nose clip as well to stop any ingress into the nose. other than that its something just have to put up with but i have had trouble training especially when swimming then straight onto the bike being blocked end up gasping for air for a few miles. the doc says it could be an allergy to the substance used.
  • I find it happens if I get a lot of chlorine absorption to the nasal passage.

    Go in the sauna or hot shower for about 5 mins before swimming, and try and 'breath' some of the clean water up your nose.

    Basically my theory is that it makes your nasal passage moisture rich so doesnt absorb as much of the chlorinated water and hence you dont get the associated affects. NB if its hot water the tissues absorb more.

    Has worked a treat for me for years

  • stustu Posts: 28
    In a funny kinda way I'm glad others suffer from this as well - I all these symptoms quite regularly.

    I've recently just had a bout of sinititus and was prescribes Benocase which seems to have worked quite well, (a couple of squirts 30mins before training) and would recommend others to investigate.

    I often wear nose clips as well, particularly on the days when I intuitively know its going to be bad.

    Its something that never happens in open water, only the pool.
  • Same deal as everybody else. Swimming for a couple of years trouble free then April 2008 allergy started. The nasal spray works to alleviate the problem but is still very uncomfortable. I don't like nose clips so found the best way is to avoid contamination by wearing a scuba mask.It might look stupid but this covers the nose and I never have a problem after swimming.
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595

    Interesting suggestion to hit the showers or sauna before swimming. Not sure I would go for the sauna as it's soo hot, but steam room / hammam perhaps?

    I also suffer with this and tend to sneeze all day after swimming. I have problems only breathing out through my nose after so many years running, using mouth and nose.
  • check out a "neti pot" - it's a great sinus rinse and works a treat for this
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Went swimming today and tried a nose clip for the first time.

    So far worked a treat - wierd feeling but worked a treat.
  • stustu Posts: 28
    Yes, I use them quite a lot, but I do notice it affects the breathing, so I try not to wear it when I feel good. I've developed a fairly intuitive knowledge about when I'll start sneezing!!

    I also take anti histamines before and after sessions when I feel the need.

  • Hi,

    I have been having the same symptoms as well. Two-three days of running nose after every swim. Newbie to triathlon training, but spent years in the pool without any problems. I bought a nose-clip having read this topic and I have had no symptoms since. Was a bit weird, as I always exhaled through my nose when swimming, so taking a bit of getting used to.

    Like to say thanks for that suggestion.

  • i get this really bad,

    a fella at work offered me hayfever tablets, (which i have never had by the way) i guess they are just anti allergy tablets. they work a treat !!!

    i only use them if i am really bad. i may try the nose plug though. it seems to be getting worse and worse down our pool !

  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    The nose clip is still working.

    I'm just really wary of taking tablets/medication just to be able to swim!
  • I have the same issue but have found Beconase (or any topical (inhaled)) antihistamine has worked - the issue is caused by the chloroamines which tend to locate in the top 6 inchs or so of the pool water and cause irritation in the nasal passages following exposure (they are mobilised by disturbing the layer during swimming). Annoying but not as bad as long term (i.e. working) exposure which can have longer term effects - there was a Nature paper a few years ago around pool staff exposure to Chlorine free radicals and possible cancer risk....

    If the non pharmacotherapeutic agents don't work try an inhaled antihistamine.

  • I saw a doctor a few months ago about this and finally saw a consultant yesterday.... I get a really bad reaction after swimming in pools- like a severe hangover for the whole of the next day....SO he told me that there is nothing wrong with me- which isnt really that helpfull. He's going to research it and i see him again in a month. So fingers crossed...

    Also the lakes are now pretty cold, so thats out of the running...I also tried getting some beconase from the pharmacy the other day and he refused to give it to me! SO im pretty stuck for ideas!
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Jonathan - try the nose clip. As i mentioned above its made a real difference for me and their only about £2 - i got a speedo one from swimshop online.
  • Cheers. Yeah i might as well give it a go...Will let you know the result. Fingers crossed!
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
  • I am a newbie to Tri's, and hadn't swam for years because of the problems I experienced with my sinuses after a dip. After a couple of sleepness nights with bunged up sinuses, I bought a £2 noseclip, the best 2 squid I've ever spent!! No more problems.

    ps 5 weeks ago I started to learn front crawl for the first time, using the TI method. Yesterday I managed 500m continuously in just over 16 mins. Not an earthshattering time, but I'm well pleased.
  • I used to get the same symptoms everyone else has mentioned, but a £3 nose clip though has made a massive difference and I no longer spend rest of the day sneezing, sniffing etc. Only being able to breath out through via mouth is a bit of a pain and I do look like a spanner wearing it, but overall they are small prices to pay. It really has been that simple for me to stop sneezing completely.
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Noseclips rule!
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Red? Carbon?
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Clear i'm afffraid.

    Haven't found a red or carbon one!

    But how sad am I - i need to look and find one!!
  • I never had any problems in the pool until last year or 2. The problems arose when (i) the distance increased and (ii) the intensity increased. Upon investigation it was found to be a combination of these factors, the chlorine in the pool and all the other ''substances'' in the pool.

    Its the most uncofortable feeling: runny nose, burning nose, constant sneezing, watery eyes and at the end of the day a blocked head/nose.

    I've been put on Nasonex nasal spray and Xyzal anti histamine. They work a treat. There are a couple of problems though. If you stop taking them, it takes about a week for the 'resistance' to build up. Also they're damm expensive (like everthing else in Ireland) The nasal spray costs about 35 euro and the antihistamines about 18. Makes swimming expensive for a back of the pack age grouper.

    Does anybody have any other suggestions?
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456

    I don't want to seem like a broken record but really do try the nose clips.

    I had all the symptoms you mention and didn't want to be taking medication just to go for a swim!

    The nose clips worked for me and quite a few others it sounds from the posts in this thread.

  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Seanug, do a search for generic meds that are the same as your brand names, if they are off patent you can get the smae thing for way less, for example during summer on here there was a hay fever thread, Clarityn anti histamine is about £2-£3+, a generic loratidine pill, 98p. active ingredient the same, packaging nowhere near as pretty!
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