The American Lung Association has found that the normal adult gets as many as four colds a year. That’s a lot even if most colds are minor viral infections. Whether the virus attacks the throat, respiratory system, or sinuses, it can cause ear congestion, and ultimately, an infection in the ear.
There are some symptoms of a cold you don’t want to ignore despite the fact that colds are generally thought to be harmless. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been verified by researchers. This discovery is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing variable in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Because your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not unusual to feel congested in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. Normally, this feeling comes and goes, especially if you’re using a decongestant and your head is draining out fluids. But congestion can develop into an ear infection in only a few hours. This is why you should always get professional help if you experience any pain or unusual discharge in your ear.
Pain is a sign that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be evidence of inflammation or infection. You can prevent permanent damage, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can result in eardrum scaring and may damage the cilia if ignored.
Is this very significant? A cold will generally only cause temporary issues with your hearing. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia become damaged and that can result in other health problems.
Your Overall Health Can be Impacted by Loss of Hearing
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health issues have been associated with loss of hearing. Researchers have recently found a link between hearing loss and increased healthcare costs. In fact, in only a decade, untreated hearing loss can increase your healthcare costs by 46%.
Hearing loss can also raise your chance of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and also increase the probability of needing to be readmitted.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor injury. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having mild hearing loss can double your probability 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.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and ignored it? It’s a common mistake, but get treatment right away. There’s a reason most health insurance companies consider ear pain or signs of an ear infection an emergency. If you feel pain in your ear during a cold or after a cold schedule a hearing examination. A professional exam can tell you if:
- there is injury to the eardrum that should be addressed
- your inner ear is impacted
- You have an ear infection now
Discomfort or temporary hearing loss can be caused by a blockage in the ear that 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 an appointment now.