The American Lung Association has found that the normal adult gets up to four colds a year. Although colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s still 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.
Despite the fact that most people think colds are harmless, there are some symptoms you should never dismiss. Scientists have finally confirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. 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
Because your sinuses and ears are interconnected, it’s not uncommon to feel congested in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. If you’re using a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling usually comes and goes. But in just a few hours congestion can develop into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you need to seek professional advice.
Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a signal your cold is moving in the wrong direction. If caught early, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and prevent permanent injury. If it’s neglected, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and possibly injury 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 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 linked to other health issues, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to an increase in accidents. An increase in healthcare expenses has been associated with hearing loss by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in just ten years, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your probability of needing hospitalization with untreated hearing loss increases by 50%….and the probability of needing to be readmitted also increases.
Even minor damage can add up. Johns Hopkins found that just having slight hearing loss can double your probability of getting dementia. Consider the fact that every time you have an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Several Days?
Have you had ear pain for days and ignored it? Get treatment immediately. Don’t make the common mistake of waiting too long. The majority of health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s a good reason for that. It’s important to get your ear evaluated if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still having difficulty hearing after your cold has cleared. If you schedule a hearing exam you can find out if:
- there is any impact on your inner ear
- there is injury to the eardrum that should be dealt with
- You have an ear infection currently
Discomfort or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by a blockage in the ear that can also be determined by a professional ear examination.
Ear pain or chronic hearing loss are sure signs that you need to consult a professional. Schedule an appointment now.