A report by The American Lung Association states that the typical adult gets up to four colds every year. That’s a lot even if most colds are minor viral infections. Whether the virus attacks the respiratory system, throat, or sinuses, it can cause ear congestion, and ultimately, an ear infection.
Despite the fact that most people consider colds harmless, there are a few symptoms you shouldn’t ever dismiss. Researchers have finally confirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This discovery is significant, because ear infections are a significant contributing variable in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Considering that your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not uncommon to feel stuffed up in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. If you’re using a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling generally comes and goes. But in only a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you’re experiencing pain or discharge in your ears you should get professional advice.
Pain can be evidence of inflammation and infection and is a sign your cold is getting worse. You can avoid permanent damage, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s dismissed, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and potentially injury to the cilia from inflammation.
How significant is this? A cold will usually only cause temporary issues with your hearing. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia get injured and that can result in other health issues.
Your Overall Health Can be Impacted by Loss of Hearing
Hearing loss has been associated with other health problems, from loss of cognitive ability to depression to a rise in accidents. An increase in healthcare costs has been connected to loss of hearing by researchers recently. In fact, in only 10 years, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Your likelihood of requiring hospitalization with untreated hearing loss increases by 50%….and also increase the chance of being readmitted.
It adds up every time your ears take even minor injury. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your chances of getting dementia. Consider the fact that every time you get 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 been suffered from ear pain for days and neglected it? It’s a common oversight, but get treatment immediately. There’s a reason most health insurance companies consider ear pain or signs of an ear infection an emergency. It’s important to get your ear examined if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still experiencing trouble hearing after your cold has cleared. If you schedule a hearing exam you can find out if:
- you currently have an infection
- your inner ear is affected
- you need to deal with damage to the eardrum
A professional examination can also make sure there are no obstructions in the ear that could cause irritation or temporary hearing loss.
Ear pain or chronic loss of hearing are sure signs that you need to see a professional. Schedule an appointment right away.