A report by The American Lung Association states that the normal adult gets as many as four colds a year. Even though 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 ear infection.
Even though most people think colds are harmless, there are some symptoms you should never dismiss. Researchers have finally confirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This is an important finding, because ear infections are a significant contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Considering that your sinuses and ears are interconnected, it’s not unusual to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold. If you’re using a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling generally comes and goes. But in just a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you need to get professional assistance.
Pain is a hint that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be evidence of inflammation or infection. You can avoid permanent injury, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s neglected, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and potentially damage to the cilia from inflammation.
Is this very serious? Generally, cold induced hearing loss is only temporary. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia become injured and that can lead to other health problems.
Your Overall Health Can be Harmed by Loss of Hearing
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, more accidents, and other health concerns are linked to hearing loss. An increase in healthcare costs has been associated with loss of hearing by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in only 10 years, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also increase your probability of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and the chance of needing to be readmitted also increases.
It adds up every time your ears take even minor injury. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your probability of getting dementia. Consider the fact that each time you have an ear infection it can cause scarring that leads to significant 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 normal mistake of putting it off. Most health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. If ear pain has occurred during a cold or after a cold get a hearing examination. If you get a hearing exam you can find out if:
- your inner ear is affected
- You have an ear infection now
- there is damage to the eardrum that needs to be dealt with
Discomfort or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by an obstruction in the ear that can also be identified by a professional ear exam.
It’s a sure indication that you need to see a professional if you have prolonged loss of hearing or ear pain. Schedule a hearing test now.