Beware: The Common Cold Can Injure Your Hearing

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

The American Lung Association reports that the average adult gets as many as four colds a year. Even though colds are normally minor viral infections, that’s still a lot. 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 certain symptoms of a cold you shouldn’t ignore despite the fact that colds are generally thought to be harmless. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by scientists. This discovery is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.

Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

It’s quite common to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold because your sinuses and ears are linked. Usually, this feeling comes and goes, especially if you’re using a decongestant and your head is draining out fluids. But in only a few hours congestion can develop into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you need to seek professional assistance.

Pain can be evidence of inflammation and infection and is a sign your cold is moving in the wrong direction. You can protect against permanent damage, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. It can lead to eardrum scaring and may harm the cilia if dismissed.

How significant is this? A cold will usually only cause temporary problems with your hearing. Injury to your eardrum or cilia, however, can result in permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health issues.

Hearing Loss Can Impact Your Overall Health

Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, more accidents, and other health issues have been associated with hearing loss. Researchers have recently shown a link between hearing loss and increased healthcare expenses. In fact, in just ten years, untreated hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.

Loss of hearing can also increase your chance of needing hospitalization by 50%….and also increase the likelihood of being readmitted.

It adds up every time your ears take even minor injury. Even mild hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, 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.

Suffering From Pain for Days?

Have you been suffered from ear pain for days and ignored it? Seek treatment immediately. Don’t make the normal mistake of putting it off. The majority of health insurance companies consider signs of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. If you feel pain in your ear when you have a cold or after a cold get a hearing exam. If you get a hearing exam you can find out if:

  • you need to deal with injury to the eardrum
  • You have an infection right now
  • there is any affect on your inner ear

Pain or temporary hearing loss can be caused by an obstruction in the ear which can also be identified by a professional ear test.

It’s a definite sign that you need to consult a professional if you have prolonged hearing loss or pain in your ear. Schedule a hearing examination right away.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Schedule an appointment to see if hearing aids could benefit you.