The American Lung Association has found that the normal adult gets as many as four colds a year. That’s a lot even if most colds are minor viral infections. It doesn’t make a difference what part of the body the virus attacks, if it leads to congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
Although most people think colds are harmless, there are a few symptoms you don’t want to dismiss. Researchers have finally confirmed the suspected connection between ear infections and the common cold. This discovery is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing variable in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
It’s really common to feel congested in your ears when you’re suffering from a cold because your sinuses and ears are linked. Typically, this feeling comes and goes, particularly if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But in only a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you need to seek professional assistance.
Pain can be evidence of inflammation and infection and is a signal your cold is getting worse. You can protect against permanent damage, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s neglected, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and potentially damage to the cilia from inflammation.
Is this very significant? Usually, cold induced hearing loss is only temporary. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia get damaged and that can result in other health issues.
Hearing Loss Can Impact Your Overall Health
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, more accidents, and other health problems have been connected to hearing loss. An increase in healthcare costs has been connected to hearing loss by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in just ten years, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Hearing loss can also raise your likelihood of needing hospitalization by 50%….and also increase the chance of being readmitted.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor injury. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your probability of getting dementia. Consider the fact that considerable hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from repeated ear infections.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Several Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? It’s a common oversight, but get treatment immediately. The majority of health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. 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:
- there is any affect on your inner ear
- there is damage to the eardrum that needs to be dealt with
- you currently have an infection
A professional examination can also make sure there are no obstructions in the ear that could cause discomfort or temporary loss of hearing.
It’s a definite sign that you need to see a professional if you have sustained hearing loss or ear pain. Schedule a hearing test today.