The American Lung Association reports that the average adult gets up to four colds a year. That’s a lot even if the majority of colds are minor viral infections. It doesn’t make a difference what part of the body the virus attacks, if it results in congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
Even though most people consider colds harmless, there are a few symptoms you shouldn’t ever ignore. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by scientists. This is an important finding, because ear infections are a significant contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Because your sinuses and ears are interconnected, it’s not unusual to feel stuffed up in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. Usually, this feeling comes and goes, specifically if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining out fluids. But in only a few hours congestion can develop into an ear infection. This is why you should always seek expert assistance if you experience any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.
Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a sign your cold is getting worse. If caught early, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and avoid permanent injury. If it’s neglected, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and possibly damage to the cilia from inflammation.
Is this very serious? Usually, cold induced hearing loss is only temporary. Damage to your eardrum or cilia, however, can result in permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health problems.
Your Overall Health Can be Harmed by Loss of Hearing
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health issues are associated with hearing loss. An increase in healthcare costs has been associated with loss of hearing by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in just a decade, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Your chance of requiring hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and also increase the chance of being readmitted.
Even minor injury can add up. Johns Hopkins found that just having mild hearing loss can double your chances of getting dementia. Consider the fact that every time you have an ear infection it can cause scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.
Having Ear Pain for Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and ignored it? Seek treatment right away. Don’t make the normal mistake of waiting too long. There’s a reason why the majority of health insurance companies consider ear pain or indications of an ear infection an emergency. If you feel pain in your ear during a cold or after a cold schedule a hearing exam. If you get a hearing exam you can find out if:
- your inner ear is impacted
- You have an ear infection right now
- you need to deal with injury to the eardrum
A professional evaluation can also ensure that there are no obstructions in the ear that might cause irritation or temporary loss of hearing.
Ear pain or chronic hearing loss are certain signs that you need to see a professional. Schedule an appointment right away.