There are other symptoms of a cold that are less prevalent than the well known runny nose. Once in a while, a cold can go into one or both ears, though you rarely hear about those. This form of cold can be more harmful than a common cold and shouldn’t ever be neglected.
What does it feel like when you get a cold in your ear?
It’s not uncommon to feel some congestion in your ears when you have a common cold. After all, your ears and sinuses are connected. Usually, when you use a decongestant for sinus relief, this blockage will also be alleviated.
But you shouldn’t ever disregard pain in your ear, even during a cold. If the cold goes into the ear, the eardrum can be infected. And that will trigger inflammation. The immune system responds to the cold by creating fluid that can collect on the eardrum. Frequently, a slow leaking fluid comes with this inflammation. Because it’s a slow leak, it’s most noticeable when you are sleeping on your side.
This is called conductive hearing loss and impacts how well you hear over the short term. Regrettably, it can also cause the eardrum to burst, which leads to long-term hearing loss. As a result, more permanent damage takes place to the hearing nerves from the inflammation, which is called sensorineural hearing loss.
It could cost you if you wait
If you’re experiencing ear pain, get your ears tested by us. Oftentimes, a primary doctor assumes that the ear symptoms will go away when the initial cold does. Sometimes, a patient won’t even remember to mention any pain they may be feeling in their ear. But the infection has probably reached the point where it’s doing harm to the ear if you’re feeling pain. In order to prevent further damage, the ear infection needs to be quickly addressed.
In many cases, ear pain will persist even after the cold clears up. This is usually when an individual finally decides to go to a hearing specialist. But, a great deal of damage is normally done by this time. Permanent hearing loss is frequently the result and that’s even more relevant with individuals who get ear infections regularly.
Over time, hearing acuity is affected by the tiny scars and lacerations of the eardrum which are the consequence of ear infections. In a normal, healthy person, the eardrum acts as a boundary between the middle ear and inner ear. Ear infections that were once restricted to the middle ear can go into the inner ear if the eardrum is perforated even once. When the infection goes into the inner ear, it can irreversibly harm the nerve cells needed to hear.
If you waited to get that ear infection treated, what should you do?
Don’t beat yourself up. A cold with pain in the ear can actually be a more significant cold than most individuals might think. You should make an appointment for a hearing exam as soon as possible if you are experiencing hearing loss after a cold.
We will determine if you’re dealing with conductive, or temporary hearing loss. You may need to have an obstruction professionally removed if this is the situation. If you have sensorineural, or permanent hearing loss, there are treatment solutions, including new hearing technology, that we can help you with.
Schedule an appointment right away if you’re having difficulty hearing after a cold.