The American Lung Association reports that the average adult gets as many as four colds a year. That’s a lot even if the majority of colds are minor viral infections. Whether the virus attacks the respiratory system, throat, or sinuses, it can produce ear congestion, and ultimately, an ear infection.
There are some symptoms of a cold you don’t want to ignore even though 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 major contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
It’s really 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, especially if you’re using a decongestant and your head is draining out fluids. But in only a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is why you should always get professional help if you have any pain or unusual discharge in your ear.
Pain is a hint that your cold is getting worse and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. You can protect against permanent damage, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can result in eardrum scaring and could damage the cilia if ignored.
Is this very significant? A cold will generally only cause temporary issues with your hearing. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia get damaged and that can result in other health problems.
Hearing Loss Can Impact Your General Health
Hearing loss has been connected to other health concerns, 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 only a decade, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Hearing loss can also raise your probability of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and also increase the likelihood of being readmitted.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor injury. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having mild hearing loss can double your chances 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.
Having Ear Pain for Days?
Have you been suffered from ear pain for days and ignored it? Get treatment immediately. Don’t make the normal mistake of waiting too long. Most health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s a good reason for that. It’s necessary to get your ear evaluated if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still experiencing difficulty hearing after your cold has cleared. A professional examination can tell you if:
- you need to deal with injury to the eardrum
- your inner ear is affected
- You have an ear infection now
Pain or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by a blockage in the ear which can also be identified by a professional ear test.
It’s a definite sign that you need to consult a professional if you have sustained loss of hearing or pain in your ear. Schedule an appointment right away.