The American Lung Association reports that the normal 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 matter what part of the body the virus attacks, if it results in congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
Although most people think colds are harmless, there are some symptoms you shouldn’t ever ignore. The connection between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by researchers. This is a significant finding, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
It’s really ordinary to feel stuffed up in your ears when you’re suffering from a cold because your sinuses and ears are linked. Ordinarily, this feeling comes and goes, specifically if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But in only a few hours congestion can develop into an ear infection. This is why you should always seek professional help if you experience any pain or unusual discharge in your ear.
Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a signal your cold is moving in the wrong direction. You can prevent permanent injury, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can result in eardrum scaring and may damage the cilia if dismissed.
How significant is this? A cold will generally only cause temporary problems with your hearing. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia get injured and that can lead to other health problems.
Your General Health Can be Impacted by Hearing Loss
Loss of cognitive ability, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health concerns are associated with hearing loss. Researchers have recently found a connection between hearing loss and more expensive healthcare costs. In fact, in only a decade, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your likelihood of requiring hospitalization with untreated hearing loss increases by 50%….and the likelihood of needing to be readmitted also increases.
It adds up every time your ears take even minor injury. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having slight hearing loss can double your risk of getting dementia. Think about the fact that every time you get an ear infection it can cause scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and neglected it? It’s a common oversight, but seek treatment immediately. There’s a reason most 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 get a hearing test. If you get a hearing test you can find out if:
- you need to deal with damage to the eardrum
- there is any affect on your inner ear
- You have an infection right now
A professional examination can also make sure there are no blockages in the ear that could cause discomfort or temporary hearing loss.
Ear pain or chronic hearing loss are sure signs that you should consult a professional. Schedule a hearing examination right away.