A study by The American Lung Association states that the typical adult gets up to four colds a year. Even though colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s a lot. Whether the virus attacks the sinuses, throat or respiratory system, it can lead to ear congestion, and eventually, an ear infection.
Even though many people think colds are harmless, there are some symptoms you don’t want to ignore. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by researchers. This is an important discovery, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Considering that your sinuses and ears are interconnected, it’s not unusual to feel congested in your ears when you have a cold. If you’re taking a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling normally comes and goes. But in only a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you need to get professional advice.
Pain is a hint that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be evidence of inflammation or infection. You can protect against permanent damage, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can result in eardrum scaring and may harm the cilia if neglected.
Is this very serious? 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 issues.
Your General Health Can be Harmed by Loss of Hearing
Hearing loss has been connected to other health problems, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to a rise in accidents. Researchers have recently confirmed a connection between loss of hearing and more expensive healthcare expenses. As a matter of fact, in only ten years, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Hearing loss can also raise your probability of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and the likelihood of being readmitted also increases.
It adds up each time your ears take even minor damage. Even mild hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that considerable 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? It’s a typical oversight, but seek treatment right away. There’s a reason most 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 exam can tell you whether:
- there is any affect on your inner ear
- there is damage to the eardrum that needs to be dealt with
- You have an infection now
Pain or temporary hearing loss can be caused by a blockage in the ear that can also be identified by a professional ear examination.
Ear pain or chronic hearing loss are sure signs that you should see a professional. Schedule an appointment today.