The American Lung Association has found that the normal adult gets as many as four colds a year. Although colds are normally minor viral infections, that’s a lot. Whether the virus attacks the throat, respiratory system, or sinuses, it can lead to ear congestion, and ultimately, an infection in the ear.
Even though many people consider colds harmless, there are certain symptoms you shouldn’t ever ignore. Scientists have finally affirmed the suspected connection between ear infections and the common cold. This is an important finding, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Because your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not unusual to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold. If you’re using a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling usually comes and goes. 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 is a hint 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 injury. If it’s dismissed, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and potentially injury to the cilia from inflammation.
How serious is this? A cold will normally only cause temporary problems with your hearing. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia get injured and that can lead to other health problems.
Loss of Hearing Can Impact Your Overall Health
Loss of cognitive ability, depression, more accidents, and other health problems are associated with loss of hearing. An increase in healthcare expenses has been connected to hearing loss by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in just 10 years, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Hearing loss can also raise your chance of needing hospitalization by 50%….and also increase the chance of needing to be readmitted.
It adds up every time your ears take even minor injury. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having slight hearing loss can 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 considerable hearing loss over time.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Several Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? It’s a common oversight, but seek treatment immediately. The majority of health insurance companies consider signs of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. If you feel pain in your ear during a cold or after a cold get a hearing exam. If you schedule a hearing test you can find out if:
- there is any impact on your inner ear
- you need to address damage to the eardrum
- You have an ear infection currently
A professional assessment can also make sure there are no blockages in the ear that could cause irritation or temporary hearing loss.
Ear pain or chronic loss of hearing are sure signs that you should see a professional. Schedule a hearing test now.