A study by The American Lung Association states that the normal adult gets up to 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 leads to congestion, it can cause an ear infection.
Although many people think colds are harmless, there are certain symptoms you should never ignore. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been verified by scientists. This discovery is significant, because ear infections are a significant contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms
Considering that your sinuses and ears are interconnected, it’s not unusual to feel congested in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. Typically, this feeling comes and goes, particularly if you’re using a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But in only a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you’re experiencing 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 moving in the wrong direction. You can protect against permanent injury, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s ignored, it can result in scarring on the eardrum and possibly injury to the cilia from inflammation.
Is this very significant? Generally, cold related hearing loss is only temporary. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia become injured and that can lead to other health problems.
Your Overall Health Can be Harmed by Loss of Hearing
Loss of cognitive ability, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health problems have been linked to hearing loss. Researchers have recently found a connection between loss of hearing and more expensive healthcare expenses. In fact, in only a decade, untreated hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your chance of requiring hospitalization with untreated hearing loss increases by 50%….and the probability of being readmitted also increases.
Even a small amount of injury can add up. Johns Hopkins found that just having slight hearing loss can double your probability of getting dementia. Consider the fact that significant hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from recurring ear infections.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Several Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and neglected it? It’s a typical oversight, but get treatment immediately. There’s a reason why the majority of health insurance companies consider ear pain or signs of an ear infection an emergency. If you feel pain in your ear during a cold or after a cold get a hearing exam. If you get a hearing exam you can find out if:
- there is injury to the eardrum that needs to be addressed
- you currently have an infection
- your inner ear is impacted
A professional examination can also ensure that there are no blockages in the ear that may cause discomfort or temporary hearing loss.
It’s a definite indication that you need to see a professional if you have sustained hearing loss or ear pain. Schedule a hearing test today.