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My wife gets motio sickness fairly readily. On one open water race over a shallow lake with clear water and ripples in the bottom sand, she got sick right there during the race. Swimming in waves has also been a problem. It depends on what sets off your dizziness. Earplugs may help to keep the water out of the inner ear (and thereby sloshing around creating your problem). The swimming specific silicone plugs are purported to be the best and don't fall out. I suppose you could always take motion sickness medication (Dramamine) before your swim.
BT, sorry to hear about your wife's issues. Yikes! For some wierd reason it helps me to know I'm not the only one with this problem. Misery loves company, I suppose. I am to the point where I take Meclizine before an event or even a training swim. The problem with that is you have to take it an hour before hand. But the other day I just wanted to try out some new goggles in my backyard pool, and after just a couple of short laps I was dizzy. The water in my ear was bugging me, so I don't know if that was the cause or not. I bought some of those silicone ear plugs so I'll give them a try and hope for the best.
Has your wife tried wearing SeaBands? At least those you just put on whenever so next time I'm in my pool I'm going to see if they'll help.
Earplugs would definitely help, as will frequent exposure to choppy water.
Experiment with nutritional interventions as well. Ginger, for instance, can help with nausea and dizziness. One of the athletes I coach used that successfully for a similar "getting dizzy on treadmill" issue...
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One cause of dizziness when swimming is breathing too little or too much. I think you would know if you were breathing too little and were low on oxygen, but some people breathe too much and this can make you dizzy. If you aren't going too hard and are breathing every 2 strokes, you are possibly over breathing. As you speed up you will need more oxygen and every 2 strokes may be okay. When I swim, I try to breathe the exact same amount as I would if I weren't under water.
Since you move your head when you breathe this can also contribute to dizziness. Try to move your head as little as possible, if you are in a pool look at the line and don't move your head. You may also want to try one of those snorkels that go in front of your face that you can swim with because then you don't have to move your head at all!
Of course breathing may not be the cause of it at all for you, but I thought it was worth a mention!
Hey there lvziggy,
Thanks for starting this post. I love the thoughtful responses you've received.
I've used earplugs and it made a difference. And if the water was cold(er) then I'd wear two swim caps. As suggested, I'm also careful with my breathing and making sure I'm exhaling and not only trying to take air in.
I'm curious with the idea of ginger and may try that out too.
Sara Cox Landolt
I did finally get some earplugs, and they help a lot in stopping that annoying "bubbling" that goes on in my ears as my head comes up out of the water. I also have been wearing Seabands when I swim and I think they are helping too. I havn't tried the ginger yet, so Sara, if you try it and it helps let me know. I felt kinda wierd starting this thread so I'm glad to hear it is something that might help you too.
I am a HUGE fan of ear plugs!
I used to get dizzy as well coming out of the water and tried ear plugs....Long story short, it stopped! I was very happy as you can imagine. Give it a try and let us know if helps.
This is what I love about this place! Even though I wasn't have the "sea-sick" feeling, I hated the sloshing of the water in my ears. So I decided after reading this to give ear plugs a try and I'm SO glad I did!! I was able to swim my full sprint distance TWICE without stopping and I really think it had to do with not having that feeling and wanting to stop and clear my ears.
Thanks for the info everyone!
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