A report by The American Lung Association states that the average adult gets as many as 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 leads to congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
There are certain 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 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 congested in your ears when you have a cold due to the fact that your sinuses and ears are connected. Usually, this feeling comes and goes, especially if you’re using a decongestant and your head is draining out fluids. But congestion can develop into an ear infection in just a few hours. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you should get professional advice.
Pain can be evidence of inflammation and infection and is a sign your cold is getting worse. You can avoid permanent damage, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s ignored, it can result in scarring on the eardrum and possibly damage to the cilia from inflammation.
Is this very serious? A cold will generally only cause temporary problems with your hearing. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia get damaged and that can lead to other health issues.
Hearing Loss Can Impact Your General Health
Hearing loss has been linked to other health issues, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to an increase in accidents. An increase in healthcare costs has been linked with hearing loss by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in just ten years, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Hearing loss can also raise your probability of needing hospitalization by 50%….and the chance of being readmitted also increases.
Even a small amount of damage can add up. Johns Hopkins found 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.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you already neglected ear pain for days? Get treatment immediately. Don’t make the common mistake of waiting too long. Most health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. It’s important to get your ear checked out if you had any pain during your cold or are still experiencing trouble hearing after your cold is gone. If you get a hearing exam you can find out if:
- your inner ear is impacted
- You have an ear infection right now
- there is damage to the eardrum that needs to be dealt with
A professional assessment can also ensure that there are no obstructions in the ear that might cause discomfort or temporary loss of hearing.
It’s a sure indication that you should see a professional if you have prolonged hearing loss or ear pain. Schedule a hearing examination right away.