The American Lung Association has found that the normal adult gets up to four colds every year. Even though colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s still a lot. Whether the virus attacks the sinuses, throat or respiratory system, it can lead to ear congestion, and ultimately, an infection in the ear.
There are some symptoms of a cold you don’t want to ignore even though colds are generally thought to be harmless. Scientists 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.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
It’s really common to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold because your sinuses and ears are linked. If you’re taking a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling generally comes and goes. But in just a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is the reason why you should always get expert assistance if you have any pain or unusual discharge in your ear.
Pain can be evidence of inflammation and infection and is a sign your cold is getting worse. If caught early, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and prevent permanent damage. It can lead to eardrum scaring and might damage the cilia if neglected.
Is this very significant? Normally, cold related hearing loss is only temporary. 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 capacity, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health problems are associated with loss of hearing. Researchers have recently confirmed a connection between hearing loss and more expensive healthcare costs. As a matter of fact, in just a decade, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Hearing loss can also raise your probability of needing hospitalization by 50%….and the chance of needing to be readmitted also increases.
Even minor damage can add up. Johns Hopkins found that just having mild hearing loss can double your risk of getting dementia. Think about 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 Days?
Have you already neglected ear pain for days? It’s a typical oversight, but get treatment right away. There’s a reason why the majority of health insurance companies consider ear pain or signs of an ear infection an emergency. If you feel pain in your ear during a cold or after a cold schedule a hearing test. If you schedule a hearing test you can find out if:
- You have an ear infection now
- your inner ear is impacted
- there is injury to the eardrum that needs to be addressed
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 see a professional if you have prolonged hearing loss or ear pain. Schedule a hearing exam today.