What About Using A Nose Clip? 

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Can I or should I use a nose clip? 

The short answer is: Maybe. 

You may use a nose clip if you are dealing with strong allergies to chlorine or pool chemicals. Keep in mind that everyone is irritated by the chlorine and have learned to tolerate it. After being away from the pool for some time even an experienced swimmer may feel increased sensitivity to it. 

You may use a nose clip early on in your learning process if water going up your nose triggers strong anxiety and interferes with your learning process. Your brain is trying to keep you safe from what it perceives as a danger, after all. However, water going up the nose is a common experience for all swimmers and they learn to tolerate it. Although it is uncomfortable, it is not, in fact, dangerous. However, it does take time and a gradual, gentle exposure process to get your brain to calm down and no longer be alarmed by water going up the nose and the burning sensation in the sinuses. The better you get with the fundamental breathing skills the less you will have that happen to you. The more it happens to you and nothing dangerous actually takes place, the more your brain will normalize the experience and reduce the alarms you experience. 

If you are determined to master the breathing skills, the more you need to set that nose clip aside and work on them. The control over the inflow and outflow with the nose is a central piece of the whole breathing skill set. 

You can always bring your nose clip to the pool and try using it and not using it for part of the time. You may gradually wean yourself off of needing it.

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