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

The American Lung Association reports that the typical adult gets as many as 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 cold symptoms you shouldn’t ignore even though colds are normally thought to be harmless. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by scientists. 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

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, 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 get expert help if you have any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.

Pain can be evidence of inflammation and infection and is a signal your cold is moving in the wrong direction. You can protect against permanent damage, if caught early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s ignored, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and possibly damage to the cilia from inflammation.

How significant is this? Generally, cold induced hearing loss is only temporary. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia get injured and that can lead to other health issues.

Your Overall Health Can be Harmed by Hearing Loss

Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health problems are connected to hearing loss. An increase in healthcare costs has been linked with hearing loss by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in only ten years, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.

Hearing loss can also raise your probability of needing hospitalization by 50%….and also increase the chance of needing to be readmitted.

Even minor damage can add up. Even mild hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your probability of getting dementia. Think about the fact that every time you get an ear infection it can cause scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.

Suffering From Pain for Days?

Have you been suffered from ear pain for days and ignored it? It’s a common mistake, but get treatment right away. Most health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. It’s important to get your ear checked out if you had any pain over the course of your cold or are still experiencing trouble hearing after your cold is gone. If you get a hearing exam you can find out if:

  • there is any affect on your inner ear
  • you currently have an ear infection
  • you need to address damage to the eardrum

A professional assessment can also make sure there are no obstructions in the ear that may cause irritation or temporary hearing loss.

It’s a definite sign that you need to consult a professional if you have sustained loss of hearing or ear pain. Schedule an appointment right away.