The American Lung Association reports that the normal adult gets as many as four colds every year. That’s a lot even if most colds are minor viral infections. Whether the virus attacks the respiratory system, throat, or sinuses, it can produce ear congestion, and ultimately, an ear infection.
Although many people think colds are harmless, there are a few symptoms you should never dismiss. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been verified by scientists. 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 very common to feel congested 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 normally comes and goes. But in just a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is the reason why you should always get expert assistance if you experience any pain or unusual discharge in your ear.
Pain is a hint that your cold is getting worse and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. You can protect against permanent damage, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can lead to eardrum scaring and may harm the cilia if ignored.
How serious is this? A cold will generally only cause temporary issues with your hearing. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia get injured and that can result in other health problems.
Hearing Loss Can Impact Your Overall Health
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health concerns have been associated with loss of hearing. Researchers have recently shown a link between hearing loss and increased healthcare expenses. As a matter of fact, in only ten years, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your probability of needing hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and also increase the chance of being readmitted.
Even a small amount of damage can add up. Even mild hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your chances of getting dementia. Think about the fact that each time you get an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to considerable hearing loss over time.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Several Days?
Have you been suffered from ear pain for days and ignored it? It’s a common mistake, but seek treatment right away. Most health insurance companies consider signs of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s a good reason for that. If ear pain has occurred when you have a cold or after a cold get a hearing test. A professional examination can determine whether:
- there is any impact on your inner ear
- You have an infection now
- you need to deal with injury to the eardrum
Discomfort or temporary hearing loss can be caused by an obstruction in the ear which can also be determined by a professional ear test.
Ear pain or chronic loss of hearing are sure signs that you should consult a professional. Schedule a hearing examination right away.