Beware: The Common Cold Can Injure Your Hearing
A report by The American Lung Association states that the typical adult gets up to four colds every year. That’s a lot even if the majority of colds are minor viral infections. 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 certain symptoms of a cold you don’t want to ignore even though colds are usually considered harmless. The connection between the common cold and ear infections has finally been verified by researchers. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing variable 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 stuffed up in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. If you’re taking a decongestant, and your head is draining fluids, this feeling generally comes and goes. But in only a few hours congestion can develop into an ear infection. This is why you should always seek expert help if you have any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.
Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a sign your cold is moving in the wrong direction. You can prevent permanent damage, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can result in eardrum scaring and could harm the cilia if dismissed.
Is this very significant? Usually, cold induced hearing loss is only temporary. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia become injured and that can lead to other health problems.
Your Overall Health Can be Impacted by Loss of Hearing
Hearing loss has been linked to other health issues, from loss of cognitive ability to depression to an increase in accidents. Researchers have recently shown a link between loss of hearing and increased healthcare expenses. In fact, in only ten years, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.
Loss of hearing can also raise your likelihood of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and also increase the chance of being readmitted.
Even a small amount of damage can add up. Johns Hopkins found that just having slight hearing loss can double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that considerable hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from recurring ear infections.
Having Ear Pain for Days?
Have you already ignored ear pain for days? It’s a common mistake, but seek treatment right away. There’s a reason why most health insurance companies consider ear pain or indications of an ear infection an emergency. If ear pain has occurred when you have a cold or after a cold get a hearing test. A professional examination can tell you if:
- your inner ear is impacted
- You have an ear infection currently
- there is injury to the eardrum that needs to be addressed
A professional evaluation can also make sure there are no blockages in the ear that might cause discomfort or temporary hearing loss.
It’s a definite sign that you should see a professional if you have prolonged loss of hearing or pain in your ear. Schedule a hearing exam today.