The American Lung Association reports that the normal adult gets up to four colds every year. That’s a lot even if the majority of colds are minor viral infections. Whether the virus attacks the respiratory system, throat, or sinuses, it can produce ear congestion, and eventually, an ear infection.
There are a few cold symptoms you don’t want to ignore even though colds are normally considered harmless. The connection between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by scientists. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a significant contributing variable in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
It’s very ordinary to feel congested in your ears when you’re suffering from a cold due to the fact that your sinuses and ears are linked. Usually, 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 can be evidence of inflammation and infection and is a signal your cold is getting worse. If caught early, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and avoid permanent damage. It can result in eardrum scaring and may damage the cilia if dismissed.
Is this very significant? Generally, cold induced hearing loss is only temporary. Injury to your eardrum or cilia, however, can lead to permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health issues.
Your General Health Can be Impacted by Hearing Loss
Hearing loss has been connected to other health problems, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to a rise in accidents. Researchers have recently shown a link between loss of hearing and increased healthcare costs. In fact, in just 10 years, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also raise your probability of needing hospitalization by 50%….and the likelihood of being readmitted also increases.
Even a small amount of injury can add up. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having slight hearing loss can double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that each time you have an ear infection it can cause scarring that leads to considerable hearing loss over time.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? Get treatment immediately. Don’t make the common mistake of waiting too long. Most health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. If you feel pain in your ear when you have a cold or after a cold schedule a hearing exam. If you get a hearing test you can find out if:
- there is injury to the eardrum that should be dealt with
- your inner ear is affected
- you currently have an infection
A professional assessment can also make sure there are no obstructions in the ear that could cause irritation or temporary hearing loss.
Ear pain or chronic loss of hearing are certain signs that you need to consult a professional. Schedule an appointment now.