The American Lung Association reports that the average adult gets up to four colds a year. Even though colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s a lot. It doesn’t matter what part of the body the virus attacks, if it results in congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
There are a few symptoms of a cold you don’t want to ignore despite the fact that colds are usually thought to be harmless. The connection between the common cold and ear infections has finally been verified by scientists. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing variable in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Considering that your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not uncommon to feel congested in your ears when you have a cold. If you’re taking a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling usually comes and goes. But in just a few hours congestion can develop into an ear infection. This is why you should always seek professional help if you experience any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.
Pain is a sign that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. If caught early, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and avoid permanent injury. It can result in eardrum scaring and could damage the cilia if neglected.
Is this very serious? Usually, cold induced hearing loss is only temporary. Damage to your eardrum or cilia, however, can result in permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health problems.
Loss of Hearing Can Harm Your General Health
Loss of cognitive ability, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health issues are associated with loss of hearing. Researchers have recently found a link between loss of hearing and increased healthcare expenses. As a matter of fact, in just a decade, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Your probability of needing hospitalization with untreated hearing loss increases by 50%….and also increase the probability of needing to be readmitted.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor damage. Even mild hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your chances of getting dementia. Consider the fact that considerable hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from recurring ear infections.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you already neglected ear pain for days? Get treatment immediately. Don’t make the common mistake of putting it off. There’s a reason most health insurance companies consider ear pain or indications of an ear infection an emergency. It’s important to get your ear checked out if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still experiencing difficulty hearing after your cold has cleared. If you get a hearing test you can find out if:
- there is any impact on your inner ear
- you currently have an infection
- there is injury to the eardrum that should be addressed
Pain or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by a blockage in the ear that can also be determined by a professional ear examination.
Ear pain or chronic loss of hearing are sure signs that you should see a professional. Schedule a hearing test right away.