A study by The American Lung Association states that the normal adult gets as many as four colds a year. While colds are usually 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.
There are some symptoms of a cold you don’t want to ignore despite the fact that colds are normally considered harmless. The connection between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by researchers. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Considering that your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not unusual to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold. Ordinarily, this feeling comes and goes, particularly if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But congestion can turn into an ear infection in only a few hours. This is the reason why you should always seek professional assistance if you experience any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.
Pain is a sign that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. You can prevent permanent damage, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can lead to eardrum scaring and could harm the cilia if neglected.
Is this very significant? A cold will usually only cause temporary issues with your hearing. Damage to your eardrum or cilia, however, can lead to permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health issues.
Your Overall Health Can be Impacted by Loss of Hearing
Hearing loss has been connected to other health problems, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to a rise in accidents. An increase in healthcare expenses has been associated with loss of hearing by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in only ten years, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also increase your likelihood of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and the probability of being readmitted also increases.
Even minor damage can add up. Johns Hopkins discovered 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 recurring ear infections.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? It’s a typical mistake, but get treatment right away. The majority of health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. It’s important to get your ear examined if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still having difficulty hearing after your cold is gone. A professional evaluation can tell you if:
- you currently have an ear infection
- you need to address damage to the eardrum
- there is any impact on your inner ear
A professional examination can also make sure there are no obstructions in the ear that may cause discomfort or temporary hearing loss.
Ear pain or prolonged hearing loss are certain signs that you should see a professional. Schedule an appointment today.