Sinus Squeeze — How to Use a Nasal Rinse Kit for Spearfishing

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“OUCH! I’m having a sinus squeeze…”

Let me guess, you’ve had a sinus squeeze today during your dive, and you were bleeding out your nose? You might’ve filled up your mask and got scared. Now you’re wondering, is my dive career over? 

The answer is no. You’re likely going to be okay. 

I was on a dive earlier this morning, and when I went down, I was feeling fine all day, and then suddenly got that squeeze came back up. My dive buddy was like, holy cow, you’re bleeding out your nose, and I’m hocking up loogies. It was kind of gross. 

But when I got to the car, I was like, “Oh no, is this going to ruin me for a long time?” So I hopped on the phone with my dive instructor, and he said, “no” this is very common.

Listen to More Spearfishing Tips on the Cast & Spear Podcast

Bleeding Sinus – Now What?

blood from sinus squeeze
Nobody makes me bleed my own blood…except pressure at depth 🙁

If you’re experiencing sinus barotrauma from freediving, scuba diving, spearfishing, or other activity, it’s essential to properly care for it.

You need to take care of the area, so you don’t build up scar tissue, which means you’ll be more prone to these kinds bleed from your sinus blood vessels. My dive instructor recommended that I take a week to 10 days off, and he also said I should use a nasal rinse kit to keep the area clean. 

Make sure that there are no harmful bacteria from the ocean water or anything like that. The ocean harbors a bunch of nasty bits. Your sinus is a significant growth medium that can create sinus infections if compromised. 

Full disclaimer, I’m not a doctor. Talk to a doctor or a specialist if you have any concerns. There are also great resources like DAN medical for help.

Barotrauma Sinus Rinse Kit

  1. Inside this kit, you’re going to find a little bottle with a nozzle. Fill up with water up to the recommended line with warm distilled water.
  2. Open the small packet of sterilized salt and mix it in the bottle. 
  3. Shake
  4. Go to a sink and squeeze the water and salt up one nostril. 
  5. Repeat with the other nostril.

Don’t drink the mixture. Your sinus barotrauma is now on its way toward healing. You’ll be able to join your freediving and scuba divers soon.

Do this multiple times as per your doctor’s recommendations, and soon your sinus trouble will be a think of the past.

How to Clean a Neti Pot

Now that you’ve completed your clearing procedure and your sinuses are getting some clean air, it’s time to clean your bottle.

The last thing you want is for this tool to cause more sinus problems because it infected your sinuses with some weird organism.

Make sure the bottle and nozzle are rinsed well and can completely dry. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

I wish you the best with your sinus barotrauma. Hopefully, it heals quickly, and you can get in the water ASAP. Just make sure you resist the urge to go diving too fast. The last thing you want is for your sinuses to rupture and create a problem that is a long term than it should be. 

May you have healthy sinus air passages for years to come!

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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Articles » Diving » Sinus Squeeze — How to Use a Nasal Rinse Kit for Spearfishing