The American Lung Association reports that the typical adult gets up to four colds a year. While colds are normally minor viral infections, that’s still a lot. It doesn’t make a difference what part of the body the virus attacks, if it results in congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
Despite the fact that most people think colds are harmless, there are some symptoms you should never ignore. Researchers have finally confirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This is an important finding, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
It’s really ordinary to feel congested in your ears when you’re suffering from a cold because your sinuses and ears are linked. Typically, this feeling comes and goes, especially if you’re taking 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’re experiencing pain or discharge in your ears you should seek professional assistance.
Pain is a hint that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. You can prevent permanent damage, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s ignored, it can result in scarring on the eardrum and potentially damage to the cilia from inflammation.
Is this very significant? Normally, cold induced hearing loss is only temporary. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia get damaged and that can lead to other health problems.
Your Overall Health Can be Harmed by Loss of Hearing
Hearing loss has been linked to other health issues, from loss of cognitive ability to depression to an increase in accidents. An increase in healthcare expenses has been associated with loss of hearing by researchers recently. In fact, in just ten years, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your chance of needing hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and also increase the likelihood of needing to be readmitted.
Even a small amount of injury can add up. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your probability of getting dementia. Think about the fact that each time you have an ear infection it can cause scarring that leads to considerable hearing loss over time.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Several Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and ignored it? Get treatment immediately. Don’t make the common 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 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 address injury to the eardrum
- there is any impact on your inner ear
- You have an ear infection currently
Pain or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by an obstruction in the ear which can also be determined by a professional ear examination.
Ear pain or prolonged hearing loss are sure signs that you need to see a professional. Schedule a hearing test right away.