The American Lung Association reports that the typical adult gets as many as four colds a year. While colds are normally minor viral infections, that’s a lot. Whether the virus attacks the throat, respiratory system, or sinuses, it can produce ear congestion, and eventually, an infection in the ear.
There are certain symptoms of a cold you don’t want to ignore despite the fact that colds are usually thought to be harmless. Scientists have finally confirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This is a significant discovery, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
It’s very ordinary to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold because your sinuses and ears are linked. If you’re using a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling usually comes and goes. But in only a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you need to seek professional help.
Pain is a hint that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be evidence of inflammation or infection. You can protect against permanent injury, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can result in eardrum scaring and could damage the cilia if dismissed.
Is this very significant? A cold will usually only cause temporary issues with your hearing. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia get injured and that can result in other health problems.
Loss of Hearing Can Impact Your Overall Health
Hearing loss has been linked to other health concerns, from loss of cognitive ability to depression to an increase in accidents. An increase in healthcare costs has been associated with loss of hearing by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in only 10 years, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also raise your chance of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and the probability of needing to be readmitted also increases.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor injury. Even mild hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that considerable hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from repeated ear infections.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?
Have you already neglected ear pain for days? It’s a common mistake, but get treatment immediately. Most health insurance companies consider signs of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s a good reason for that. If you feel pain in your ear when you have a cold or after a cold schedule a hearing exam. A professional evaluation can tell you whether:
- there is any impact on your inner ear
- you currently have an infection
- you need to deal with injury to the eardrum
Discomfort or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by a blockage in the ear which can also be identified by a professional ear examination.
Ear pain or prolonged hearing loss are sure signs that you need to consult a professional. Schedule an appointment right away.