The American Lung Association reports that the typical adult gets up to four colds a year. That’s a lot even if most colds are minor viral infections. It doesn’t matter what part of the body the virus attacks, if it results in congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
There are a few symptoms of a cold you shouldn’t ignore despite the fact that colds are generally thought to be harmless. Scientists have finally affirmed the suspected connection between ear infections and the common cold. This is an important discovery, because ear infections are a significant contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
It’s very common to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold because your sinuses and ears are connected. Ordinarily, this feeling comes and goes, particularly 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 why you should always get professional help if you experience any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.
Pain is a sign that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. If caught early, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and avoid permanent damage. It can lead to eardrum scaring and could harm the cilia if dismissed.
Is this very serious? A cold will usually only cause temporary issues with your hearing. Injury to your eardrum or cilia, however, can result in permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health issues.
Loss of Hearing Can Impact Your General Health
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, more accidents, and other health issues are associated with hearing loss. Researchers have recently shown a link between loss of hearing and more expensive healthcare expenses. As a matter of fact, in only 10 years, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Your chance of needing hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and the likelihood of needing to be readmitted also increases.
Even a small amount of injury can add up. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having slight hearing loss can 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.
Having Ear Pain for Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and neglected it? It’s a typical mistake, but get treatment immediately. Most health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. It’s necessary to get your ear checked out if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still experiencing difficulty hearing after your cold is gone. A professional examination can determine whether:
- you need to deal with injury to the eardrum
- there is any affect on your inner ear
- You have an ear infection now
A professional examination can also make sure there are no blockages in the ear that might cause irritation or temporary loss of hearing.
Ear pain or chronic hearing loss are sure signs that you should see a professional. Schedule a hearing exam today.