A study by The American Lung Association states that the normal adult gets up to four colds a year. That’s a lot even if the majority of colds are minor viral infections. Whether the virus attacks the throat, respiratory system, or sinuses, it can cause ear congestion, and eventually, an ear infection.
There are certain cold symptoms you don’t want to ignore even though colds are usually considered harmless. The connection between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by researchers. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Because your sinuses and ears are interconnected, it’s not unusual to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold. If you’re taking a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling usually comes and goes. But congestion can turn into an ear infection in only a few hours. This is why you should always get expert assistance if you experience any pain or unusual discharge in your ear.
Pain is a sign that your cold is getting worse and can be evidence of inflammation or infection. If you take care of it early enough, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and prevent permanent damage. It can lead to eardrum scaring and could harm the cilia if neglected.
How significant is this? Generally, cold related hearing loss is only temporary. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia become injured and that can lead to other health issues.
Your General Health Can be Impacted by Loss of Hearing
Loss of cognitive ability, depression, more accidents, and other health problems have been linked to loss of hearing. Researchers have recently shown a connection between hearing loss and more expensive healthcare expenses. In fact, in only 10 years, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your likelihood of requiring hospitalization with untreated hearing loss increases by 50%….and the likelihood of needing to be readmitted also increases.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor damage. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that every time you have an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to considerable hearing loss over time.
Having Ear Pain for Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? Seek treatment right away. Don’t make the normal mistake of waiting too long. The majority of health insurance companies consider signs of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. It’s necessary to get your ear examined if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still experiencing difficulty hearing after your cold is gone. A professional evaluation can determine whether:
- there is injury to the eardrum that needs to be addressed
- there is any affect on your inner ear
- You have an infection right now
A professional assessment can also make sure there are no obstructions in the ear that may cause discomfort or temporary loss of hearing.
It’s a sure sign that you need to consult a professional if you have prolonged loss of hearing or ear pain. Schedule a hearing examination today.