The American Lung Association reports that the average adult gets up to four colds a year. Although colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s still a lot. Whether the virus attacks the sinuses, throat or respiratory system, it can cause ear congestion, and eventually, an ear infection.
There are certain symptoms of a cold you don’t want to ignore despite the fact that colds are generally considered harmless. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by researchers. This is an important finding, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Considering that your sinuses and ears are interconnected, it’s not uncommon to feel congested in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. Normally, this feeling comes and goes, particularly if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But congestion can turn into an ear infection in only a few hours. This is the reason that if you’re experiencing pain or discharge in your ears you need to seek professional help.
Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a sign your cold is moving in the wrong direction. If caught early, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and avoid permanent damage. If it’s ignored, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and potentially damage to the cilia from inflammation.
How significant is this? A cold will usually only cause temporary problems with your hearing. Damage to your eardrum or cilia, however, can lead to permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health problems.
Your General Health Can be Harmed by Loss of Hearing
Hearing loss has been linked to other health concerns, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to a rise in accidents. An increase in healthcare expenses has been linked with hearing loss by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in only 10 years, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare costs by 46%.
Your probability of requiring hospitalization with untreated hearing loss increases by 50%….and also increase the probability of being readmitted.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor damage. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having slight hearing loss can double your chances of getting dementia. Consider the fact that significant hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from repeated ear infections.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Several Days?
Have you been suffered from ear pain for days and neglected it? Get treatment immediately. Don’t make the common mistake of putting it off. There’s a reason the majority of health insurance companies consider ear pain or indications of an ear infection an emergency. It’s important to get your ear evaluated if you had any pain during your cold or are still having difficulty hearing after your cold is gone. A professional evaluation can tell you if:
- You have an infection right now
- there is any affect on your inner ear
- you need to address injury to the eardrum
Pain or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by a blockage in the ear which can also be determined by a professional ear examination.
It’s a sure indication that you should see a professional if you have sustained hearing loss or pain in your ear. Schedule an appointment right away.