A report by The American Lung Association states that the normal adult gets as many as four colds a year. That’s a lot even if the majority of colds are minor viral infections. Whether the virus attacks the respiratory system, throat, or sinuses, it can lead to ear congestion, and eventually, an infection in the ear.
Although most people think colds are harmless, there are a few symptoms you don’t want to dismiss. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been verified by researchers. This is an important finding, because ear infections are a major contributing variable in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
It’s very ordinary to feel congested in your ears when you’re suffering from a cold because your sinuses and ears are connected. If you’re using a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling normally comes and goes. But in only a few hours congestion can develop into an ear infection. This is the reason why you should always seek expert help if you have any pain or unusual discharge in your ear.
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 caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can lead to eardrum scaring and could damage the cilia if dismissed.
How significant is this? A cold will usually only cause temporary issues with your hearing. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia get damaged and that can lead to other health problems.
Hearing Loss Can Harm Your Overall Health
Loss of cognitive ability, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health concerns are associated with loss of hearing. Researchers have recently confirmed a link between loss of hearing and more expensive healthcare expenses. As a matter of fact, in just 10 years, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your probability of requiring hospitalization with untreated hearing loss increases by 50%….and the probability of being readmitted also increases.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor damage. Even mild hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that every time you have an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you already neglected ear pain for days? It’s a common mistake, but get treatment right away. There’s a reason why the majority of health insurance companies consider ear pain or indications of an ear infection an emergency. It’s important to get your ear checked out if you had any pain during your cold or are still having trouble hearing after your cold has cleared. If you get a hearing exam you can find out if:
- you need to address injury to the eardrum
- you currently have an infection
- your inner ear is affected
Pain or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by a blockage in the ear that can also be determined by a professional ear examination.
Ear pain or chronic hearing loss are certain signs that you should consult a professional. Schedule an appointment now.