The American Lung Association has found that the normal adult gets up to four colds every year. That’s a lot even if the majority of colds are minor viral infections. It doesn’t make a difference what part of the body the virus attacks, if it leads to congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
There are a few symptoms of a cold you shouldn’t ignore despite the fact that colds are usually considered harmless. Scientists have finally affirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This is a significant finding, because ear infections are a significant contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
It’s quite common to feel congested 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 usually comes and goes. But congestion can develop into an ear infection in just a few hours. This is why you should always get expert assistance if you experience any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.
Pain is a hint that your cold is getting worse and can be evidence of inflammation or infection. You can avoid permanent damage, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can lead to eardrum scaring and might harm the cilia if neglected.
How serious is this? A cold will generally 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 issues.
Loss of Hearing Can Harm Your General Health
Hearing loss has been connected to other health concerns, from loss of cognitive ability to depression to a rise in accidents. An increase in healthcare costs has been connected to hearing loss by researchers recently. In fact, in just ten years, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also increase your chance of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and the likelihood of needing to be readmitted also increases.
It adds up every time your ears take even minor injury. Even mild hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your probability of getting dementia. Consider the fact that significant hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from recurring ear infections.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and neglected it? It’s a typical oversight, but get treatment immediately. 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 evaluated if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still having trouble hearing after your cold has cleared. If you schedule a hearing exam you can find out if:
- you currently have an infection
- you need to deal with damage to the eardrum
- your inner ear is affected
A professional assessment can also make sure there are no obstructions in the ear that might cause irritation or temporary loss of hearing.
It’s a sure sign that you need to consult a professional if you have sustained loss of hearing or pain in your ear. Schedule a hearing exam today.