A study by The American Lung Association states that the average adult gets up to four colds every year. That’s a lot even if the majority of colds are minor viral infections. Whether the virus attacks the sinuses, throat or respiratory system, it can lead to ear congestion, and ultimately, an ear infection.
There are certain cold symptoms you don’t want to ignore despite the fact that colds are generally thought to be harmless. Researchers have finally affirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This is a significant finding, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
It’s really common to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold because your sinuses and ears are connected. Normally, this feeling comes and goes, specifically if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining out fluids. But congestion can turn into an ear infection in just a few hours. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you need to get professional advice.
Pain is a hint that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. If you take care of it early enough, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and avoid permanent damage. If it’s neglected, it can result in scarring on the eardrum and possibly damage to the cilia from inflammation.
How serious is this? Normally, cold related hearing loss is only temporary. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia become injured and that can result in other health issues.
Your Overall Health Can be Harmed by Loss of Hearing
Hearing loss has been connected to other health issues, from loss of cognitive ability to depression to an increase in accidents. Researchers have recently shown a connection between hearing loss and more expensive healthcare expenses. In fact, in just ten years, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your likelihood of requiring hospitalization with untreated hearing loss increases by 50%….and also increase the probability of needing to be readmitted.
It adds up every time your ears take even minor injury. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your probability of getting dementia. Think about the fact that every time you have an ear infection it can cause scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you already neglected ear pain for days? It’s a typical mistake, but get treatment right away. There’s a reason why the majority of health insurance companies consider ear pain or signs of an ear infection an emergency. It’s necessary to get your ear evaluated if you had any pain during your cold or are still having difficulty hearing after your cold has cleared. A professional exam can tell you if:
- you currently have an ear infection
- there is injury to the eardrum that needs to be addressed
- your inner ear is affected
Discomfort or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by a blockage in the ear which can also be identified by a professional ear exam.
It’s a definite sign that you need to see a professional if you have prolonged hearing loss or pain in your ear. Schedule a hearing test now.