The American Lung Association reports that the normal adult gets up to four colds a year. Although colds are normally minor viral infections, that’s 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.
Despite the fact that many people think colds are harmless, there are a few symptoms you shouldn’t ever dismiss. Scientists have finally affirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing variable in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.
Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
It’s quite common to feel congested in your ears when you have a cold due to the fact that your sinuses and ears are interconnected. Ordinarily, 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 turn into an ear infection. This is why you should always seek expert assistance if you have any pain or unusual discharge in your ear.
Pain is a sign that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. You can prevent permanent damage, if detected 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.
How significant is this? A cold will generally only cause temporary issues 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 Impacted by Hearing Loss
Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, more accidents, and other health concerns have been associated with loss of hearing. Researchers have recently shown a link between loss of hearing and increased healthcare costs. As a matter of fact, in just 10 years, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare costs by 46%.
Your probability of needing hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and the chance of being readmitted also increases.
Even a small amount of injury can add up. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that significant hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from repeated ear infections.
Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? Seek 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. If ear pain has occurred when you have a cold or after a cold get a hearing test. A professional exam can determine if:
- there is any affect on your inner ear
- you need to address injury to the eardrum
- You have an ear infection right now
A professional examination can also ensure that there are no obstructions in the ear that could cause irritation or temporary loss of hearing.
It’s a sure indication that you need to see a professional if you have sustained hearing loss or ear pain. Schedule an appointment now.