A report by The American Lung Association states that the average adult gets up to four colds a year. While colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s still a lot. It doesn’t matter 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 don’t want to ignore even though colds are generally considered harmless. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by researchers. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a significant contributing variable in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Considering that your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not unusual to feel stuffed up in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. Ordinarily, this feeling comes and goes, particularly if you’re using a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But in just a few hours congestion can develop into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you need to get professional help.
Pain can be evidence of inflammation and infection and is a sign your cold is getting worse. If you take care of it early enough, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and prevent permanent injury. It can result in eardrum scaring and may harm the cilia if ignored.
How significant is this? A cold will generally only cause temporary issues with your hearing. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia become injured and that can result in other health problems.
Your General Health Can be Impacted by Hearing Loss
Hearing loss has been connected to other health problems, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to an increase in accidents. Researchers have recently found a connection between hearing loss and more expensive healthcare expenses. As a matter of fact, in just ten years, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also increase your likelihood of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and the likelihood of needing to be readmitted also increases.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor injury. Even mild hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that significant hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from recurring ear infections.
Having Ear Pain for Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and neglected it? It’s a typical mistake, but get treatment immediately. Most health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s a good reason for that. If you feel pain in your ear during a cold or after a cold get a hearing exam. If you get a hearing test you can find out if:
- you currently have an infection
- you need to deal with damage to the eardrum
- there is any affect on your inner ear
Discomfort or temporary hearing loss can be caused by an obstruction in the ear which can also be determined by a professional ear test.
Ear pain or prolonged hearing loss are sure signs that you should see a professional. Schedule a hearing exam now.