The American Lung Association has found that the normal adult gets up to four colds every year. Although colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s still a lot. Whether the virus attacks the respiratory system, throat, or sinuses, it can cause ear congestion, and eventually, an infection in the ear.
Although many people consider colds harmless, there are a few symptoms you should never ignore. Scientists have finally confirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. 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 connected, it’s not unusual to feel congested in your ears when you have a cold. Usually, this feeling comes and goes, particularly if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining out fluids. But in only a few hours congestion can develop into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you’re experiencing pain or discharge in your ears you need to seek professional advice.
Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a signal your cold is getting worse. If you take care of it early enough, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and avoid permanent injury. It can result in eardrum scaring and could harm the cilia if dismissed.
How significant is this? A cold will generally only cause temporary problems with your hearing. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia get damaged and that can result in other health problems.
Hearing Loss Can Harm Your Overall Health
Hearing loss has been linked to other health concerns, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to a rise in accidents. Researchers have recently found a connection between loss of hearing and more expensive healthcare expenses. As a matter of fact, in only a decade, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare costs by 46%.
Hearing loss can also raise your chance of needing hospitalization by 50%….and the chance of being readmitted also increases.
Even a small amount of injury can add up. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your risk of getting dementia. Think about the fact that every time you have an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Several Days?
Have you already neglected ear pain for days? It’s a typical mistake, but get treatment right away. Most health insurance companies consider signs 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 schedule a hearing exam. If you schedule a hearing test you can find out if:
- there is injury to the eardrum that needs to be addressed
- You have an ear infection right now
- your inner ear is impacted
Pain or temporary hearing loss can be caused by an obstruction in the ear that can also be determined by a professional ear examination.
It’s a sure indication that you need to see a professional if you have prolonged loss of hearing or pain in your ear. Schedule a hearing exam right away.