A report by The American Lung Association states that the normal adult gets as many as four colds a year. Although colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s a lot. Whether the virus attacks the sinuses, throat or respiratory system, it can lead to ear congestion, and eventually, an infection in the ear.
Despite the fact that many people consider colds harmless, there are some symptoms you don’t want to dismiss. The connection between the common cold and ear infections has finally been verified by scientists. This is a significant finding, because ear infections are a significant contributing variable in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Because your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not uncommon to feel congested in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. If you’re using a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling usually comes and goes. But congestion can develop into an ear infection in just a few hours. This is the reason that if you’re experiencing pain or discharge in your ears you should seek professional help.
Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a signal your cold is moving in the wrong direction. 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 may harm the cilia if dismissed.
How serious is this? 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 problems.
Loss of Hearing Can Harm Your Overall Health
Hearing loss has been linked to other health problems, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to an increase in accidents. Researchers have recently found a connection between loss of hearing and more expensive healthcare costs. As a matter of fact, in just 10 years, untreated hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your likelihood 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. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having slight hearing loss can double your chances of getting dementia. Think about the fact that each time you have an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to considerable hearing loss over time.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you already neglected ear pain for days? It’s a common oversight, but get treatment immediately. There’s a reason why most 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 examination can determine whether:
- You have an ear infection currently
- your inner ear is affected
- you need to address injury to the eardrum
A professional assessment can also ensure that there are no blockages in the ear that might cause discomfort or temporary hearing loss.
It’s a sure sign that you need to see a professional if you have prolonged loss of hearing or ear pain. Schedule a hearing examination right away.