Beware: The Common Cold Can Damage Your Hearing

Man holding his ear because he has an ear infection that is causing hearing loss.

A report by The American Lung Association states that the average adult gets up to four colds a 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 results in congestion, it can cause an ear infection.

There are a few cold symptoms you shouldn’t ignore even though colds are generally considered harmless. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been verified by researchers. This discovery is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.

You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms

It’s really ordinary to feel congested in your ears when you’re suffering from a cold due to the fact that your sinuses and ears are interconnected. Normally, this feeling comes and goes, specifically if you’re using a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But in just 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 abnormal discharge in your ear.

Pain is a hint that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be an indication of inflammation or infection. If you take care of it early enough, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and prevent permanent damage. It can result in eardrum scaring and may harm the cilia if ignored.

Is this very serious? A cold will normally only cause temporary problems with your hearing. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia get damaged and that can result in other health issues.

Hearing Loss Can Impact Your Overall Health

Hearing loss has been linked to other health problems, from loss of cognitive capability to depression to an increase in accidents. Researchers have recently confirmed a connection between loss of hearing and more expensive healthcare costs. In fact, in just a decade, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.

Loss of hearing can also increase your likelihood of needing to be hospitalized by 50%….and also increase the likelihood of being readmitted.

Even minor injury can add up. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having mild 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 repeated ear infections.

Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?

Have you had ear pain for days and ignored it? Seek treatment right away. Don’t make the normal mistake of putting it off. There’s a reason most health insurance companies consider ear pain or signs of an ear infection an emergency. It’s necessary to get your ear evaluated if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still experiencing 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
  • you need to deal with damage to the eardrum
  • you currently have an infection

A professional examination can also make sure there are no blockages in the ear that may cause discomfort or temporary hearing loss.

Ear pain or prolonged hearing loss are certain signs that you need to consult a professional. Schedule an appointment right away.

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