A report by The American Lung Association states that the typical adult gets as many as four colds a year. While colds are normally minor viral infections, that’s still 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.
Although most people think colds are harmless, there are a few symptoms you should never ignore. Scientists have finally affirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This is a significant discovery, because ear infections are a significant contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
It’s really common to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold due to the fact that your sinuses and ears are connected. Typically, this feeling comes and goes, especially if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But in just 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 should seek professional advice.
Pain is a sign that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. You can avoid permanent damage, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can lead to eardrum scaring and could damage the cilia if ignored.
How serious is this? A cold will usually only cause temporary problems with your hearing. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia get damaged and that can lead to other health issues.
Your Overall Health Can be Harmed by Hearing Loss
Loss of cognitive ability, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health concerns have been connected to loss of hearing. Researchers have recently shown a link between hearing loss and increased healthcare expenses. As a matter of fact, in just a decade, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also increase your chance of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and also increase the chance of needing to be readmitted.
Even a small amount of damage can add up. 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.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?
Have you already neglected ear pain for days? It’s a common oversight, but get treatment right away. There’s a reason why the majority of health insurance companies consider ear pain or indications of an ear infection an emergency. It’s necessary to get your ear examined if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still having trouble hearing after your cold is gone. If you schedule a hearing test you can find out if:
- you currently have an infection
- you need to deal with injury to the eardrum
- your inner ear is impacted
A professional assessment can also make sure there are no obstructions in the ear that may cause irritation or temporary loss of hearing.
Ear pain or prolonged loss of hearing are sure signs that you need to consult a professional. Schedule a hearing exam right away.