A study by The American Lung Association states that the normal adult gets up to four colds a year. That’s a lot even if most colds are minor viral infections. It doesn’t matter what part of the body the virus attacks, if it leads to congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
Despite the fact that many people think colds are harmless, there are certain symptoms you don’t want to dismiss. The connection between the common cold and ear infections has finally been verified by scientists. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a significant contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
It’s quite common to feel congested in your ears when you have a cold due to the fact that your sinuses and ears are interconnected. If you’re taking 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 get professional assistance.
Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a sign your cold is getting worse. 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 could damage the cilia if dismissed.
How serious is this? A cold will generally only cause temporary problems with your hearing. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia get injured and that can lead to other health issues.
Loss of Hearing Can Impact Your General Health
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, more accidents, and other health problems are associated with loss of hearing. An increase in healthcare expenses has been linked with loss of hearing by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in just ten years, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also increase your probability of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and also increase the likelihood of needing to be readmitted.
Even a small amount of damage can add up. Johns Hopkins found that just having mild hearing loss can double your risk of getting dementia. Think about the fact that each time you have an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and ignored it? Seek treatment immediately. Don’t make the normal mistake of waiting too long. The majority of health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s a good reason for that. If ear pain has occurred during a cold or after a cold get a hearing test. If you get a hearing test you can find out if:
- there is injury to the eardrum that should be addressed
- You have an ear infection currently
- your inner ear is affected
Pain or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by a blockage in the ear which can also be determined by a professional ear test.
Ear pain or prolonged hearing loss are certain signs that you should consult a professional. Schedule an appointment now.