The American Lung Association reports that the average adult gets up to four colds a year. Although colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s a lot. It doesn’t make a difference what part of the body the virus attacks, if it leads to congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
There are some symptoms of a cold you don’t want to ignore despite the fact that colds are normally considered harmless. The connection 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.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Considering that your sinuses and ears are connected, 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 usually comes and goes. But in just 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 should seek professional assistance.
Pain can be evidence of inflammation and infection and is a signal your cold is getting worse. You can protect against permanent damage, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can lead to eardrum scaring and might harm the cilia if ignored.
Is this very serious? A cold will normally only cause temporary issues with your hearing. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia get injured and that can result in other health problems.
Your Overall Health Can be Impacted by Hearing Loss
Hearing loss has been connected to other health concerns, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to a rise in accidents. An increase in healthcare costs has been associated with hearing loss by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in just a decade, untreated hearing loss can increase your healthcare costs by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also increase your likelihood of needing hospitalization by 50%….and the chance of needing to be readmitted also increases.
Even a small amount of injury can add up. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having mild hearing loss can double your probability of getting dementia. Consider the fact that each time you have an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to considerable hearing loss over time.
Suffering From Pain for Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and ignored it? Get treatment immediately. Don’t make the normal mistake of waiting too long. Most health insurance companies consider signs of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. It’s necessary to get your ear examined if you had any pain during your cold or are still experiencing difficulty hearing after your cold has cleared. A professional exam can determine if:
- your inner ear is impacted
- you currently have an infection
- you need to address damage to the eardrum
A professional examination can also ensure that there are no obstructions in the ear that may cause discomfort or temporary loss of hearing.
Ear pain or prolonged hearing loss are sure signs that you need to consult a professional. Schedule an appointment now.