A study by The American Lung Association states that the typical adult gets as many as four colds a year. Even though colds are normally 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 some symptoms of a cold you shouldn’t ignore even though colds are generally considered harmless. The connection between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by scientists. This is an important finding, because ear infections are a major contributing variable in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Considering that your sinuses and ears are interconnected, it’s not uncommon to feel stuffed up in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. If you’re using a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling normally comes and goes. But congestion can turn into an ear infection in just a few hours. This is the reason why you should always get professional help if you have any pain or unusual discharge in your ear.
Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a sign your cold is getting worse. You can avoid permanent injury, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s neglected, it can result in scarring on the eardrum and potentially injury to the cilia from inflammation.
How serious is this? Usually, cold related hearing loss is only temporary. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia become damaged and that can result in other health issues.
Your General Health Can be Impacted by Loss of Hearing
Hearing loss has been connected to other health issues, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to an increase in accidents. Researchers have recently found a connection between loss of hearing and more expensive healthcare costs. In fact, in just ten years, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare costs by 46%.
Hearing loss can also increase your probability of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and also increase the likelihood of needing to be readmitted.
It adds up every time your ears take even minor damage. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having mild hearing loss can double your chances of getting dementia. Consider the fact that every time you get an ear infection it can cause scarring that leads to considerable hearing loss over time.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you already neglected ear pain for days? Seek treatment right away. Don’t make the normal mistake of putting it off. There’s a reason why most health insurance companies consider ear pain or signs of an ear infection an emergency. It’s important to get your ear examined if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still having difficulty hearing after your cold is gone. A professional examination can determine whether:
- You have an ear infection currently
- you need to deal with damage to the eardrum
- there is any impact on your inner ear
Discomfort or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by a blockage in the ear that can also be identified by a professional ear exam.
Ear pain or prolonged hearing loss are certain signs that you need to consult a professional. Schedule a hearing exam now.