The American Lung Association reports that the typical adult gets as many as four colds every year. While colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s a lot. Whether the virus attacks the respiratory system, throat, or sinuses, it can lead to ear congestion, and eventually, an ear infection.
There are some symptoms of a cold you don’t want to ignore despite the fact that colds are usually thought to be harmless. Researchers have finally affirmed the suspected connection between ear infections and the common cold. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a significant contributing factor 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 linked. Usually, this feeling comes and goes, especially if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But in only a few hours congestion can develop into an ear infection. This is the reason why you should always seek professional help if you experience any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.
Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a signal your cold is moving in the wrong direction. You can prevent permanent injury, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can lead to eardrum scaring and could harm the cilia if dismissed.
How serious is this? Generally, cold related hearing loss is only temporary. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia get damaged and that can lead to other health problems.
Your Overall Health Can be Impacted by Hearing Loss
Loss of cognitive ability, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health concerns have been linked to loss of hearing. Researchers have recently shown a connection between hearing loss and more expensive healthcare costs. In fact, in only 10 years, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your probability of needing hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and also increase the likelihood of needing to be readmitted.
Even minor injury can add up. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your chances of getting dementia. Consider the fact that each time you have an ear infection it can cause scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Several Days?
Have you been suffered from ear pain for days and ignored it? It’s a common mistake, but seek treatment immediately. There’s a reason most health insurance companies consider ear pain or indications of an ear infection an emergency. If ear pain has occurred when you have a cold or after a cold get a hearing exam. A professional examination can tell you if:
- there is injury to the eardrum that should be addressed
- You have an infection now
- there is any impact on your inner ear
A professional assessment can also ensure that there are no blockages in the ear that may cause discomfort or temporary loss of hearing.
Ear pain or prolonged hearing loss are sure signs that you should see a professional. Schedule an appointment right away.