Good To Nose Baraka Blog

Surfers Sinusitis

Written By: Sue
April 16, 2016

lukas surf

Sonoma County Surfer- Lukas Walsh. Photo Courtesy of Lukas Walsh

Surfs Up… Your Nose!!!!

If you surf and have postnasal drip, sinus pressure or a congested nose, you most likely have surfers’ sinusitis. Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinus cavities and can cause anything from sinus pressure to post nasal drip. Any sinus issue occurring over 12 weeks, is considered to be a chronic problem. You can ignore it for a while, but over time it may become something bigger. Sinus pressure can turn into an infection and that post nasal drip could produce a cough.

Below is a plan to recover from chronic problems and maintain healthy sinuses.

RECOVERY – Nasal rinse a few times a week with a hypertonic rinse.  A hypertonic rinse (made with purified water and extra amounts of salt) can help reduce inflammation. In addition, it can help flush out an infection and particulate matter.  If you think you have an infection, rinse daily with a hypertonic to see if it helps. Two weeks with this routine should greatly improve your sinuses. In addition, if you can stay out of the water for a few days…..even a week, please do! By keeping your sinuses away from the dirty waters, you will allow them to settle down and be less inflamed.

If you aren’t recovering as quickly as you would like or if you think you have deeper sinus issues, acupuncture can be an effective way to treat it. If you are tempted to reach for antibiotics, it’s been proven that they aren’t effective for most sinus issues.

PREVENTION – Now that you have cleared up your symptoms, you will need to develop “good nasal hygiene” when you return to the water.  Surfers who recovered from and stayed free of sinuses issues, did the following for maintenance:

  1. Avoid mucky or polluted waters. Don’t surf after a big rainstorm.
  2. Clear any excess water from the sinuses as soon as you leave the water. Bend over and hang your head between your knees. Tilt your head in a 2 o’clock and 11 o’clock position, this should release any trapped water.
  3. Rinse your sinuses with a saline solution as soon as you can. Flush each nostril with at least 10 oz of water (use a full Baraka Neti Pot on each side). This will rinse out any particulate matter such as sand or bacteria.
  4. Some surfers recommend using nose plugs to avoid excess water from entering the nasal cavities. Ask around to see what people are using.

I hope this helps. After learning what obstacles surfers face by simple being in our polluted ocean waters, we put together a Surfers Special Kit. Write us if you have any questions or suggestions. Surfs Up!

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