The American Lung Association has found that the average adult gets as many as four colds every year. While colds are normally minor viral infections, that’s still a lot. It doesn’t matter what part of the body the virus attacks, if it results in congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
There are a few symptoms of a cold you don’t want to ignore even though colds are generally thought to be harmless. Researchers have finally affirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This is a significant finding, because ear infections are a significant contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Considering that your sinuses and ears are interconnected, it’s not uncommon to feel congested in your ears when you have a cold. Usually, this feeling comes and goes, specifically if you’re using 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 get professional assistance if you experience any pain or unusual discharge in your ear.
Pain can be evidence of inflammation and infection and is a signal your cold is moving in the wrong direction. You can avoid permanent injury, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s neglected, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and potentially damage to the cilia from inflammation.
Is this very significant? A cold will generally only cause temporary problems with your hearing. Injury to your eardrum or cilia, however, can result in permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health problems.
Your Overall Health Can be Impacted by Loss of Hearing
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, more accidents, and other health problems have been associated with loss of hearing. Researchers have recently confirmed a link between hearing loss and more expensive healthcare expenses. As a matter of fact, in only ten years, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Hearing loss can also raise your chance of needing hospitalization by 50%….and the probability 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 chances of getting dementia. Think about the fact that each time you have an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to considerable hearing loss over time.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?
Have you already neglected ear pain for days? It’s a typical mistake, but get treatment immediately. There’s a reason why 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 examination. If you get a hearing exam you can find out if:
- you currently have an infection
- you need to deal with damage to the eardrum
- your inner ear is affected
A professional evaluation can also make sure there are no obstructions in the ear that may cause discomfort or temporary hearing loss.
Ear pain or prolonged hearing loss are certain signs that you should see a professional. Schedule a hearing exam right away.