Beware: The Common Cold Can Injure Your Ears
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 symptoms of a cold you shouldn’t ignore even though colds are usually considered harmless. The connection between the common cold and ear infections has finally been verified by scientists. This discovery is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Because your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not uncommon to feel stuffed up in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. Usually, this feeling comes and goes, specifically if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But congestion can develop into an ear infection in only a few hours. This is the reason that if you’re experiencing pain or discharge in your ears you should get professional advice.
Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a sign your cold is getting worse. If caught early, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and prevent permanent injury. If it’s ignored, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and possibly damage to the cilia from inflammation.
Is this very serious? A cold will usually only cause temporary issues with your hearing. Damage to your eardrum or cilia, however, can result in permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health issues.
Loss of Hearing Can Harm Your General Health
Hearing loss has been linked to other health concerns, from loss of cognitive ability to depression to an increase in accidents. An increase in healthcare costs has been connected to hearing loss by researchers recently. In fact, in only ten years, untreated hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.
Your probability of needing hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and also increase the likelihood of being readmitted.
Even minor damage can add up. Even mild hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your probability of getting dementia. Consider the fact that every time you get 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 already ignored ear pain for days? It’s a typical mistake, but seek treatment immediately. The majority of health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. It’s necessary to get your ear evaluated if you had any pain during your cold or are still having difficulty hearing after your cold is gone. A professional examination can determine if:
- you need to address damage to the eardrum
- You have an ear infection now
- your inner ear is impacted
Discomfort or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by a blockage in the ear that can also be identified by a professional ear examination.
Ear pain or prolonged hearing loss are sure signs that you need to consult a professional. Schedule an appointment now.