The American Lung Association reports that the typical adult gets up to four colds a year. Although colds are normally minor viral infections, that’s a lot. Whether the virus attacks the respiratory system, throat, or sinuses, it can lead to ear congestion, and eventually, an ear infection.
There are a few cold symptoms you shouldn’t ignore even though colds are generally considered harmless. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by researchers. This discovery is significant, because ear infections are a significant contributing variable in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Considering that your sinuses and ears are interconnected, it’s not uncommon to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold. If you’re taking a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling normally comes and goes. But congestion can develop into an ear infection in just a few hours. This is the reason that if you’re experiencing pain or discharge in your ears you should seek professional advice.
Pain is a hint that your cold is getting worse and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. You can prevent permanent injury, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s ignored, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and potentially damage to the cilia from inflammation.
Is this very significant? Generally, cold related hearing loss is only temporary. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia become damaged and that can result in other health issues.
Your Overall Health Can be Impacted by Hearing Loss
Hearing loss has been connected to other health problems, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to an increase in accidents. An increase in healthcare expenses has been linked with loss of hearing by researchers recently. In fact, in only a decade, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Hearing loss can also raise your chance of needing hospitalization by 50%….and also increase the likelihood of being readmitted.
It adds up every time your ears take even minor damage. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your probability of getting dementia. Consider the fact that significant hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from recurring ear infections.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? Seek treatment right away. Don’t make the common 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 a good reason for that. If you feel pain in your ear when you have a cold or after a cold get a hearing examination. If you schedule a hearing exam you can find out if:
- there is any affect on your inner ear
- there is damage to the eardrum that needs to be addressed
- You have an infection currently
Pain or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by a blockage in the ear which can also be identified by a professional ear exam.
Ear pain or prolonged loss of hearing are sure signs that you need to consult a professional. Schedule a hearing examination now.