A study by The American Lung Association states that the normal adult gets up to 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.
Although most people consider colds harmless, there are a few symptoms you should never ignore. 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
It’s very ordinary to feel congested in your ears when you have a cold because your sinuses and ears are linked. Ordinarily, this feeling comes and goes, especially if you’re using a decongestant and your head is draining out fluids. But congestion can turn into an ear infection in only a few hours. This is why you should always get expert help if you have any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.
Pain is a sign that your cold is getting worse and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. You can protect against permanent injury, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can lead to eardrum scaring and might harm the cilia if dismissed.
Is this very serious? A cold will generally only cause temporary issues with your hearing. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia become damaged and that can result in other health issues.
Hearing Loss Can Harm Your Overall Health
Hearing loss has been linked to other health concerns, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to a rise in accidents. Researchers have recently shown a connection between hearing loss and increased healthcare expenses. As a matter of fact, in only 10 years, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Your probability of needing hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and the chance of being readmitted also increases.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor damage. Johns Hopkins found that just having mild hearing loss can double your chances of getting dementia. Consider the fact that significant hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from repeated ear infections.
Having Ear Pain for Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? Seek treatment immediately. Don’t make the common mistake of waiting too long. The majority of health insurance companies consider signs of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s a good reason for that. If ear pain has occurred when you have a cold or after a cold schedule a hearing examination. A professional exam can tell you if:
- you currently have an ear infection
- there is any impact on your inner ear
- there is damage to the eardrum that should be dealt with
Discomfort or temporary hearing loss can be caused by an obstruction in the ear which can also be identified by a professional ear test.
It’s a sure sign that you should consult a professional if you have prolonged hearing loss or pain in your ear. Schedule an appointment today.