The American Lung Association has found that the normal adult gets up to four colds a year. Even though colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s still a lot. Whether the virus attacks the throat, respiratory system, or sinuses, it can cause ear congestion, and eventually, an infection in the ear.
There are some cold symptoms you shouldn’t ignore despite the fact that colds are normally considered harmless. Scientists have finally affirmed the suspected connection between ear infections and the common cold. This is an important discovery, because ear infections are a significant contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
It’s really common to feel congested in your ears when you’re suffering from a cold because your sinuses and ears are linked. Usually, this feeling comes and goes, specifically if you’re using a decongestant and your head is draining out fluids. But in only a few hours congestion can develop into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you’re experiencing pain or discharge in your ears you need to seek professional help.
Pain is a sign that your cold is getting worse and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. You can avoid permanent injury, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can result in eardrum scaring and could harm the cilia if dismissed.
How significant is this? A cold will normally only cause temporary problems with your hearing. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia become injured and that can result in other health problems.
Loss of Hearing Can Harm Your Overall Health
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health problems are connected to loss of hearing. Researchers have recently found a connection between loss of hearing and more expensive healthcare expenses. In fact, in just a decade, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Hearing loss can also increase your probability of needing hospitalization by 50%….and the likelihood of needing to be readmitted also increases.
Even a small amount of injury can add up. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that significant hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from recurring ear infections.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? Seek treatment right away. Don’t make the common mistake of waiting too long. There’s a reason the majority of health insurance companies consider ear pain or indications of an ear infection an emergency. It’s necessary to get your ear examined if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still experiencing trouble hearing after your cold is gone. A professional evaluation can determine whether:
- there is damage to the eardrum that should be dealt with
- You have an ear infection right now
- your inner ear is affected
A professional examination can also ensure that there are no blockages in the ear that might cause discomfort or temporary hearing loss.
It’s a definite indication that you should see a professional if you have sustained loss of hearing or pain in your ear. Schedule a hearing examination right away.