The American Lung Association reports that the average adult gets as many as four colds every year. That’s a lot even if most colds are minor viral infections. It doesn’t make a difference what part of the body the virus attacks, if it leads to congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
Despite the fact that many people think colds are harmless, there are some symptoms you shouldn’t ever dismiss. Researchers have finally affirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This discovery is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
It’s quite ordinary to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold because your sinuses and ears are connected. If you’re taking a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling generally comes and goes. But congestion can develop into an ear infection in only a few hours. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you need to get professional advice.
Pain is a sign that your cold is getting worse and can be evidence of inflammation or infection. You can protect against permanent injury, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s dismissed, it can result in scarring on the eardrum and potentially damage to the cilia from inflammation.
Is this very significant? Generally, cold induced hearing loss is only temporary. Injury to your eardrum or cilia, however, can result in permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health problems.
Your General Health Can be Harmed by Hearing Loss
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health issues have been connected to hearing loss. An increase in healthcare costs has been connected to hearing loss by researchers recently. In fact, in just ten years, untreated hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Hearing loss can also increase your chance of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and the likelihood of needing to be readmitted also increases.
Even minor injury can add up. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having slight 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 recurring ear infections.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? Seek treatment right away. Don’t make the common mistake of waiting too long. There’s a reason most health insurance companies consider ear pain or signs of an ear infection an emergency. It’s necessary to get your ear evaluated if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still experiencing difficulty hearing after your cold has cleared. If you get a hearing test you can find out if:
- You have an infection now
- there is damage to the eardrum that needs to be addressed
- your inner ear is impacted
A professional assessment can also make sure there are no blockages in the ear that may cause discomfort or temporary hearing loss.
Ear pain or prolonged loss of hearing are certain signs that you need to see a professional. Schedule a hearing exam now.