A report by The American Lung Association states that the average adult gets as many as four colds every year. That’s a lot even if the majority of colds are minor viral infections. 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 cold symptoms you shouldn’t ignore despite the fact that colds are normally considered harmless. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by scientists. This is an important finding, 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 uncommon to feel congested in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. If you’re using a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling normally comes and goes. But congestion can develop into an ear infection in just a few hours. 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 getting worse. If you take care of it early enough, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and prevent permanent damage. If it’s neglected, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and potentially injury to the cilia from inflammation.
How significant is this? Generally, cold related hearing loss is only temporary. Damage to your eardrum or cilia, however, can lead to permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health issues.
Hearing Loss Can Harm Your Overall Health
Loss of cognitive ability, depression, more accidents, and other health concerns have been linked to hearing loss. An increase in healthcare expenses has been connected to hearing loss by researchers recently. In fact, in just a decade, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your probability of needing hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and also increase the probability of needing to be readmitted.
Even minor damage can add up. Even slight 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 repeated ear infections.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Several Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? Get treatment immediately. Don’t make the normal mistake of putting it off. Most health insurance companies consider signs of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. If ear pain has occurred when you have a cold or after a cold schedule a hearing test. A professional exam can determine whether:
- you need to address injury to the eardrum
- there is any impact on your inner ear
- You have an infection now
Pain or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by a blockage in the ear that can also be determined by a professional ear examination.
It’s a sure indication that you need to consult a professional if you have sustained hearing loss or pain in your ear. Schedule a hearing test today.