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Summer is in Houston, and the sun is relentless! Taking a dip in the swimming pool can offer a moment of relief from the sweltering heat. Unfortunately, the very water that’s helping you stay cool in the summer sun can actually cause more discomfort than relief.

What Causes a Sinusitis

When chlorine gets in the ears or nose, it can cause irritation and swelling, which over time can contribute to the development of a sinus infection. A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, occurs when the delicate skin lining your sinuses swells, which traps mucus inside your sinus chambers, allowing bacteria to grow.

Most common symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • Facial pain and pressure at your temples, beneath your eyes, and in your forehead.
  • Nasal congestion, which can weaken your sense of smell.
  • Runny nose
  • Green or yellow phlegm, which is a thicker secretion that can contain virus, bacteria, discarded neutrophils.

There are some preventative measures you can take to help keep chlorine from irritating your sinuses. If you swim in a public pool, ask staff when they do chlorine treatments. Chlorine levels will be highest right after the pool has been treated, so avoid swimming the first couple days after chlorine has been added to the water. In addition to avoiding the pool on days with high chlorine counts, there are other measures you can take to protect your sinuses during a swim. Before jumping in, put on swimming ear plugs and a nose clip. They may not look fashion forward, but ear plugs and a nose clip help prevent chlorine from reaching your sinuses. Also, after you finish your swim, use a neti pot with a sterile saline solution to rinse off any residual chlorine that might have slipped past your nose clip and ear plugs. Finally, don’t delay your post-swim shower for hours after taking a swim, soap up and rinse off all the lingering chlorine as soon as you’re finished taking a dip. Showering immediately after a swim has the added benefit of helping prevent chlorine from drying out your skin and hair.

If even after taking these preventative measures sinusitis still keeps you from enjoying your summer swims to the fullest, there may be a bigger underlying issue behind your sinus troubles. Seeking out care from a specialized physician is the first step in finding the best course of treatment for you. Dr. Pasha always works with patients to find and treat their sinus conditions at the source, clearing their sinuses so they can breathe freely again. Don’t let swimmer’s sinusitis ruin your poolside plans, secure an appointment with Dr. Pasha today!

Persistent sinus infection issues:

  • You alone could keep Kleenex in business with the number of tissues you have on hand on any given day. You know when the symptoms hit that you’ll be battling a deluge of nasal mucus (probably not the best week for a first date) and a surplus of soft, triple-ply tissues are a necessity.
  • You’ve tried every trick in the book for sore-throat relief. From constantly popping throat lozenges to snacking on marshmallows to swallowing a teaspoon of honey, there isn’t anything you haven’t tried.
  • You’ve mastered the art of using a neti pot and all of the “fun” experiences that go along with it, like accidentally spraying water all over your face or trying to find the perfect temperature so as not to scorch or freeze your nasal cavities.
  • You’ve gotten really good at fighting the urge to curl up in bed and sleep all day when the infection creeps up. Many people experience exhaustion with sinus infections, and dealing with the intense facial pressure and headaches can make it even worse. However, you’ve come to realize you can’t always drop everything and lock yourself in your bedroom when you come down with a sinus infection—so you’ve gotten pretty good at dealing with the symptoms when they come. (Although, just because you can deal with the symptoms doesn’t mean you have to or even should. Schedule an appointment to talk to Dr. Pasha about some long-term solutions.)
  • Your favorite meals don’t taste quite as delicious. With a sinus infection, your sense of smell and taste can decrease, which means that mouthwatering dinner you’ve been looking forward to all week might not live up to the hype.
  • You go through a pack of gum a day. When you’re dealing with a sinus infection, you’re likely to experience some stinky breath, so you’re used to using up a whole lot of mouthwash, toothpaste, and spearmint gum during your infection.
  • Your friends are used to hearing the excuse “Not tonight, I’ve got a sinus headache.” As much as you want to try that new sushi restaurant that just opened up, a sinus infection tends to get in the way of wanting to spend a late night out with friends.
  • If even after taking these preventative measures sinusitis still keeps you from enjoying your summer swims to the fullest, there may be a bigger underlying issue behind your sinus troubles. Seeking out care from a specialized physician is the first step in finding the best course of treatment for you. Dr. Pasha always works with patients to find and treat their sinus conditions at the source, clearing their sinuses so they can breathe freely again. Don’t let swimmer’s sinusitis ruin your poolside plans, secure an appointment with Dr. Pasha today!