The American Lung Association reports that the normal adult gets up to four colds a year. Although colds are normally minor viral infections, that’s still a lot. Whether the virus attacks the throat, respiratory system, or sinuses, it can lead to ear congestion, and ultimately, an ear infection.
There are certain symptoms of a cold you shouldn’t ignore even though colds are normally considered harmless. Researchers have finally affirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This is a significant finding, because ear infections are a major contributing variable in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
It’s really common to feel stuffed up in your ears when you’re suffering from a cold due to the fact that your sinuses and ears are connected. If you’re using a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling usually comes and goes. But congestion can develop into an ear infection in only a few hours. This is why you should always get expert assistance if you experience any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.
Pain is a hint that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. You can avoid permanent injury, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can result in eardrum scaring and might damage the cilia if dismissed.
Is this very serious? Normally, cold induced hearing loss is only temporary. Damage to your eardrum or cilia, however, can lead to permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health problems.
Your General Health Can be Impacted by Hearing Loss
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health problems are linked to loss of hearing. Researchers have recently confirmed a link between hearing loss and more expensive healthcare expenses. In fact, in just a decade, neglected 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 likelihood of being readmitted.
It adds up every time your ears take even minor damage. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having slight hearing loss can double your chances of getting dementia. Consider the fact that considerable hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from repeated ear infections.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you already neglected ear pain for days? Seek treatment immediately. Don’t make the normal mistake of putting it off. 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 is gone. If you get a hearing exam you can find out if:
- your inner ear is affected
- you need to deal with damage to the eardrum
- you currently have an ear infection
A professional evaluation can also make sure there are no blockages in the ear that may cause discomfort or temporary loss of hearing.
It’s a definite indication that you need to see a professional if you have sustained hearing loss or ear pain. Schedule a hearing test now.