The American Lung Association has found that the average adult gets up to four colds a year. Even though colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s still a lot. Whether the virus attacks the respiratory system, throat, or sinuses, it can lead to ear congestion, and eventually, an ear infection.
There are some symptoms of a cold you don’t want to ignore even though colds are usually considered harmless. The connection between the common cold and ear infections has finally been verified by researchers. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Considering that your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not unusual to feel stuffed up in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. Typically, this feeling comes and goes, particularly 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 the reason why you should always get expert assistance if you have any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.
Pain is a sign that your cold is getting worse and can be evidence of inflammation or infection. If you take care of it early enough, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and avoid permanent damage. It can result in eardrum scaring and might harm the cilia if dismissed.
Is this very serious? A cold will usually only cause temporary problems with your hearing. Damage to your eardrum or cilia, however, can result in permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health issues.
Your Overall Health Can be Harmed by Hearing Loss
Loss of cognitive ability, depression, more accidents, and other health issues have been connected to loss of hearing. An increase in healthcare costs has been linked with loss of hearing by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in only ten years, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare costs by 46%.
Your probability of needing hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and the probability of needing to be readmitted also increases.
Even minor injury can add up. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that each time you have an ear infection it can cause scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Several Days?
Have you been suffered from ear pain for days and ignored it? It’s a common mistake, but get treatment immediately. There’s a reason the majority of health insurance companies consider ear pain or indications 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 having trouble hearing after your cold has cleared. If you get a hearing exam you can find out if:
- you need to deal with damage to the eardrum
- You have an ear infection now
- there is any impact on your inner ear
Pain or temporary hearing loss can be caused by a blockage in the ear which can also be determined by a professional ear exam.
Ear pain or prolonged hearing loss are certain signs that you should consult a professional. Schedule an appointment right away.