The American Lung Association reports that the normal adult gets up to four colds a year. Even though colds are normally minor viral infections, that’s still a lot. Whether the virus attacks the sinuses, throat or respiratory system, it can lead to ear congestion, and ultimately, an infection in the ear.
Although many people consider colds harmless, there are a few symptoms you should never dismiss. Researchers have finally confirmed the suspected connection between ear infections and the common cold. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
It’s quite common to feel stuffed up in your ears when you’re suffering from a cold due to the fact that 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 congestion can develop into an ear infection in only a few hours. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you need to get professional advice.
Pain is a sign that your cold is getting worse and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. If you take care of it early enough, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and avoid permanent damage. If it’s neglected, it can result in scarring on the eardrum and possibly damage to the cilia from inflammation.
Is this very serious? A cold will usually only cause temporary problems with your hearing. Damage to your eardrum or cilia, however, can lead to permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health problems.
Loss of Hearing Can Impact Your General Health
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health problems are associated with loss of hearing. Researchers have recently confirmed a link between loss of hearing and increased healthcare expenses. In fact, in just a decade, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also increase your likelihood of needing hospitalization by 50%….and also increase the likelihood of needing to be readmitted.
Even a small amount of injury can add up. Even mild hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your chances of getting dementia. Consider the fact that considerable hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from recurring ear infections.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Several Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? Seek treatment immediately. Don’t make the common mistake of putting it off. There’s a reason the majority of health insurance companies consider ear pain or signs of an ear infection an emergency. If you feel pain in your ear during a cold or after a cold get a hearing examination. If you schedule a hearing exam you can find out if:
- you need to deal with injury to the eardrum
- there is any affect on your inner ear
- You have an ear infection right now
Pain or temporary hearing loss can be caused by a blockage in the ear that can also be identified by a professional ear test.
Ear pain or chronic loss of hearing are sure signs that you need to consult a professional. Schedule a hearing test today.