A report by The American Lung Association states that the normal adult gets up to four colds every 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 ultimately, an ear infection.
There are some symptoms of a cold 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 researchers. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing variable in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Because your sinuses and ears are interconnected, it’s not uncommon to feel congested in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. Ordinarily, this feeling comes and goes, specifically if you’re using a decongestant and your head is draining out fluids. But in only a few hours congestion can develop into an ear infection. This is why you should always get expert assistance if you have any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.
Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a sign your cold is getting worse. If caught early, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and avoid permanent injury. If it’s neglected, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and possibly injury to the cilia from inflammation.
Is this very serious? A cold will normally only cause temporary problems with your hearing. Injury to your eardrum or cilia, however, can result in permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health problems.
Loss of Hearing Can Impact Your Overall Health
Hearing loss has been associated with other health concerns, from loss of cognitive ability to depression to an increase in accidents. Researchers have recently confirmed a connection between hearing loss and increased healthcare expenses. As a matter of fact, in just a decade, untreated hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your likelihood of requiring hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and also increase the likelihood of needing to be readmitted.
It adds up every time your ears take even minor injury. Even mild hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your risk of getting dementia. Think about the fact that every time you have an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and ignored it? Seek treatment right away. Don’t make the common mistake of waiting too long. There’s a reason most health insurance companies consider ear pain or signs of an ear infection an emergency. It’s necessary to get your ear evaluated if you had any pain during your cold or are still having difficulty hearing after your cold is gone. If you get a hearing test you can find out if:
- you need to deal with damage to the eardrum
- your inner ear is impacted
- you currently have an infection
Discomfort or temporary hearing loss can be caused by a blockage in the ear which can also be identified by a professional ear test.
It’s a definite indication that you need to consult a professional if you have prolonged hearing loss or pain in your ear. Schedule an appointment today.