A report by The American Lung Association states that the average adult gets up to four colds every year. Even though colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s a lot. Whether the virus attacks the throat, respiratory system, or sinuses, it can lead to ear congestion, and ultimately, an infection in the ear.
Even though most people think colds are harmless, there are certain symptoms you shouldn’t ever dismiss. The connection between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by researchers. This is an important finding, because ear infections are a major contributing variable in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Because your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not uncommon to feel congested in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. If you’re using a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling usually comes and goes. But in just a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you should get professional help.
Pain is a hint 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 prevent permanent damage. It can lead to eardrum scaring and may damage the cilia if neglected.
Is this very serious? A cold will generally only cause temporary problems with your hearing. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia get damaged and that can result in other health issues.
Hearing Loss Can Impact Your Overall Health
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, more accidents, and other health concerns are connected to hearing loss. An increase in healthcare costs has been linked with hearing loss by researchers recently. In fact, in only 10 years, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Your probability of requiring hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and the chance of needing to be readmitted also increases.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor damage. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having slight hearing loss can double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that each time you get an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? Get treatment immediately. Don’t make the common mistake of putting it off. Most health insurance companies consider signs of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s a good reason for that. It’s important to get your ear evaluated if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still having difficulty hearing after your cold is gone. If you schedule a hearing exam you can find out if:
- your inner ear is impacted
- you currently have an infection
- there is injury to the eardrum that needs to be addressed
Pain or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by an obstruction in the ear which can also be identified by a professional ear test.
Ear pain or chronic loss of hearing are certain signs that you should see a professional. Schedule a hearing examination now.