A report by The American Lung Association states that the normal adult gets as many as four colds every year. That’s a lot even if most colds are minor viral infections. Whether the virus attacks the throat, respiratory system, or sinuses, it can produce ear congestion, and eventually, an ear infection.
Although most people think colds are harmless, there are some symptoms you don’t want to dismiss. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by scientists. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing variable in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
It’s quite common to feel congested in your ears when you have a cold due to the fact that your sinuses and ears are linked. Normally, this feeling comes and goes, especially if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But in just a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is why you should always get expert help if you experience any pain or unusual discharge in your ear.
Pain is a hint that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. You can prevent permanent damage, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can lead to eardrum scaring and might harm the cilia if neglected.
How significant is this? A cold will normally 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.
Your General Health Can be Harmed by Loss of Hearing
Hearing loss has been linked to other health problems, from loss of cognitive ability to depression to an increase in accidents. Researchers have recently confirmed a connection between loss of hearing and increased healthcare expenses. In fact, in just a decade, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare costs by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also increase your chance of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and the probability of needing to be readmitted also increases.
Even a small amount of injury can add up. Even mild 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 lead to scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you been suffered from ear pain for days and neglected it? 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 indications of an ear infection an emergency. It’s important to get your ear examined if you had any pain during your cold or are still having trouble hearing after your cold has cleared. If you get a hearing test you can find out if:
- there is any affect on your inner ear
- there is damage to the eardrum that should be dealt with
- you currently have an infection
A professional assessment can also make sure there are no obstructions in the ear that may cause irritation or temporary hearing loss.
Ear pain or prolonged loss of hearing are certain signs that you should see a professional. Schedule an appointment today.