The American Lung Association has found that the average adult gets up to four colds every year. While colds are normally minor viral infections, that’s a lot. It doesn’t matter what part of the body the virus attacks, if it results in congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
Even though 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 researchers. This is an important finding, because ear infections are a significant contributing variable in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Because your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not unusual to feel stuffed up in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. Normally, this feeling comes and goes, especially if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But in just a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you’re experiencing pain or discharge in your ears you should seek professional help.
Pain is a sign that your cold is getting worse and can be evidence of inflammation or infection. If you take care of it early enough, 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 injury to the cilia from inflammation.
How significant is this? Normally, cold related hearing loss is only temporary. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia get damaged and that can lead to other health issues.
Hearing Loss Can Impact Your General Health
Loss of cognitive ability, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health concerns are associated with loss of hearing. An increase in healthcare expenses has been linked with hearing loss by researchers recently. In fact, in only a decade, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also raise your likelihood of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and the chance of needing to be readmitted also increases.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor injury. Johns Hopkins found that just having mild hearing loss can double your probability of getting dementia. Consider the fact that significant hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from repeated ear infections.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and ignored it? It’s a common mistake, but seek treatment immediately. There’s a reason most health insurance companies consider ear pain or indications of an ear infection an emergency. If ear pain has occurred during a cold or after a cold schedule a hearing examination. A professional evaluation can determine if:
- your inner ear is affected
- there is damage to the eardrum that needs to be addressed
- You have an infection now
Pain or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by a blockage in the ear that can also be identified by a professional ear test.
It’s a definite sign that you should consult a professional if you have sustained hearing loss or pain in your ear. Schedule an appointment today.