A study by The American Lung Association states that the typical adult gets as many as four colds every year. Although colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s a lot. Whether the virus attacks the respiratory system, throat, or sinuses, it can produce ear congestion, and ultimately, an infection in the ear.
Even though many people consider colds harmless, there are a few symptoms you should never dismiss. Scientists have finally confirmed the suspected connection between ear infections and the common cold. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a significant contributing variable in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Because your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not unusual to feel congested in your ears when you have a cold. If you’re using a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling usually comes and goes. But congestion can develop into an ear infection in only a few hours. This is the reason why you should always get professional help if you have any pain or unusual discharge in your ear.
Pain is a sign that your cold is getting worse and can be evidence of inflammation or infection. You can protect against permanent damage, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can lead to eardrum scaring and could damage the cilia if ignored.
Is this very significant? A cold will generally only cause temporary problems with your hearing. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia become injured and that can result in other health problems.
Your General Health Can be Impacted by Loss of Hearing
Hearing loss has been linked to other health issues, from loss of cognitive ability to depression to an increase in accidents. An increase in healthcare expenses has been connected to loss of hearing by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in just ten years, untreated hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your chance of needing hospitalization with untreated hearing loss increases by 50%….and the likelihood of needing to be readmitted also increases.
Even a small amount of damage can add up. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having slight hearing loss can double your probability of getting dementia. Consider the fact that every time you have an ear infection it can cause scarring that leads to considerable hearing loss over time.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and neglected it? Seek treatment immediately. Don’t make the normal mistake of waiting too long. 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 evaluated if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still having trouble hearing after your cold is gone. A professional exam can determine if:
- your inner ear is affected
- there is damage to the eardrum that should be dealt with
- you currently have an ear infection
Pain or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by an obstruction in the ear which can also be identified by a professional ear examination.
Ear pain or prolonged hearing loss are certain signs that you should see a professional. Schedule a hearing examination right away.