Can Surfing Cause a Sinus Infection?

Surfing is a popular water sport that involves riding ocean waves on a board. It is a physically demanding activity that requires strength and agility. Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is an inflammation of the sinuses that can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or allergens.

How Surfing Can Cause a Sinus Infection

Cold water exposure is one of the primary ways that surfing can cause a sinus infection. When the body is exposed to cold water, the blood vessels in the nose and sinuses constrict, which reduces the amount of mucus and airflow in the sinuses. This condition can make it easier for viruses, bacteria, and allergens to enter the sinuses and cause an infection. Inhaling water while surfing can also lead to sinus infections, as the water can contain viruses, bacteria, and allergens. Additionally, the water in some areas may be contaminated with pollutants, which can cause sinus irritation and infection.

Symptoms of a Sinus Infection

If you develop a sinus infection after surfing, you may experience symptoms such as congestion, headaches, facial pain or pressure, fever, and a cough. You may also experience a reduced sense of smell or taste.

Prevention of Sinus Infection

To prevent a sinus infection while surfing, it is important to take precautions to protect your sinuses. Wearing a wetsuit can provide some protection from the cold water and help reduce the risk of a sinus infection. Additionally, wearing a nose clip can help prevent water from entering the nose and sinuses. Lastly, it is important to avoid areas of water that are polluted, as the pollutants can irritate the sinuses and cause an infection.


Surfing can cause a sinus infection due to cold water exposure, inhaling water, and allergens in the water. Symptoms of a sinus infection include congestion, headaches, coughing, and facial pain or pressure. To prevent a sinus infection, it is important to wear a wetsuit, wear a nose clip, and avoid polluted waters while surfing.

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