The American Lung Association reports that the average adult gets up to four colds a year. Although colds are normally minor viral infections, that’s a lot. Whether the virus attacks the throat, respiratory system, or sinuses, it can cause ear congestion, and eventually, an infection in the ear.
There are some symptoms of a cold you shouldn’t ignore despite the fact that colds are generally considered harmless. Researchers have finally affirmed the suspected connection between ear infections and the common cold. This is a significant discovery, 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 congested in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. If you’re taking a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling normally comes and goes. But in only a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you’re experiencing pain or discharge in your ears you need to get professional advice.
Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a signal your cold is getting worse. You can prevent permanent damage, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s neglected, it can result in scarring on the eardrum and potentially damage to the cilia from inflammation.
Is this very serious? A cold will normally 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.
Your General Health Can be Impacted by Loss of Hearing
Hearing loss has been linked to other health problems, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to an increase in accidents. An increase in healthcare costs has been connected to hearing loss by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in just ten years, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also raise your likelihood of needing hospitalization by 50%….and also increase the chance of being readmitted.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor damage. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that considerable hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from recurring ear infections.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?
Have you already neglected ear pain for days? It’s a typical mistake, but get treatment right away. Most health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. It’s necessary 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 is gone. A professional evaluation can determine if:
- you currently have an ear infection
- there is damage to the eardrum that needs to be dealt with
- there is any affect on your inner ear
Discomfort or temporary hearing loss can be caused by a blockage in the ear which can also be identified by a professional ear examination.
It’s a sure indication that you need to see a professional if you have sustained hearing loss or ear pain. Schedule a hearing examination right away.