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

The American Lung Association has found 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. Whether the virus attacks the sinuses, throat or respiratory system, it can produce ear congestion, and eventually, an ear infection.

There are a few cold symptoms you shouldn’t ignore despite the fact that colds are usually thought to be harmless. Researchers 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

Considering that your sinuses and ears are interconnected, 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 out fluids. But congestion can turn into an ear infection in just a few hours. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you should get professional help.

Pain is a sign that your cold is getting worse 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 could damage the cilia if dismissed.

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 problems.

Loss of Hearing Can Harm Your Overall Health

Hearing loss has been associated with other health issues, from loss of cognitive ability to depression to a rise in accidents. An increase in healthcare expenses has been associated with loss of hearing by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in just 10 years, untreated hearing loss can increase your healthcare costs by 46%.

Your likelihood of requiring hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and also increase the likelihood of needing to be readmitted.

Even minor injury can add up. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having mild hearing loss can double your chances of getting dementia. Consider the fact that significant hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from repeated ear infections.

Suffering From Pain for Days?

Have you already ignored ear pain for days? Get treatment right away. Don’t make the normal mistake of waiting too long. Most health insurance companies consider signs of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. If ear pain has occurred when you have a cold or after a cold get a hearing exam. If you schedule a hearing test you can find out if:

  • your inner ear is affected
  • there is injury to the eardrum that should be dealt with
  • you currently have an infection

A professional assessment can also ensure that there are no obstructions in the ear that could cause irritation or temporary loss of hearing.

Ear pain or chronic loss of hearing are sure signs that you should see a professional. Schedule a hearing examination today.