The American Lung Association has found that the normal adult gets as many as 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.
There are some cold symptoms you don’t want to ignore even though colds are generally thought to be harmless. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been verified by scientists. This is an important finding, because ear infections are a major contributing variable in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Because your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not unusual to feel congested in your ears when you have a cold. Normally, this feeling comes and goes, particularly if you’re using a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But congestion can develop into an ear infection in only a few hours. This is why you should always get expert assistance if you experience any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.
Pain is a sign that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. You can avoid permanent damage, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s dismissed, it can result in scarring on the eardrum and possibly damage to the cilia from inflammation.
How significant is this? Usually, cold related hearing loss is only temporary. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia become damaged and that can result in other health problems.
Your General Health Can be Impacted by Hearing Loss
Loss of cognitive ability, depression, more accidents, and other health concerns have been associated with hearing loss. Researchers have recently shown a link between hearing loss and increased healthcare expenses. As a matter of fact, in only a decade, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Your chance of needing hospitalization with untreated hearing loss increases by 50%….and also increase the chance of needing to be readmitted.
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. Consider the fact that every time you have an ear infection it can cause scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.
Having Ear Pain for Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and ignored it? Seek treatment immediately. Don’t make the normal mistake of putting it off. There’s a reason why most 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 experiencing trouble hearing after your cold has cleared. A professional evaluation can tell you whether:
- there is damage to the eardrum that needs to be addressed
- You have an ear infection right now
- there is any impact on your inner ear
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 sign that you need to consult a professional if you have sustained hearing loss or ear pain. Schedule an appointment today.