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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 as many as four colds a year. Although 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 cold symptoms you shouldn’t ignore even though colds are normally thought to be harmless. Researchers have finally confirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This is a significant finding, because ear infections are a significant 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 unusual to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold. Typically, 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 only a few hours. This is the reason why you should always seek professional 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. If you take care of it early enough, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and avoid permanent injury. If it’s dismissed, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and potentially injury to the cilia from inflammation.

How significant is this? A cold will usually only cause temporary issues with your hearing. However, permanent hearing loss can result if the eardrum or cilia get damaged and that can result in other health problems.

Your General Health Can be Impacted by Hearing Loss

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

Your chance of requiring hospitalization with untreated hearing loss is increased by 50%….and the likelihood of being readmitted also increases.

It adds up every time your ears take even minor damage. Even mild hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your chances 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 been suffered from ear pain for days and ignored it? It’s a typical mistake, but seek treatment right away. Most health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s a good reason for that. If you feel pain in your ear when you have a cold or after a cold schedule a hearing exam. If you schedule a hearing exam you can find out if:

  • you currently have an infection
  • your inner ear is affected
  • you need to address injury to the eardrum

Pain or temporary loss of hearing can be caused by an obstruction in the ear that can also be determined by a professional ear exam.

It’s a sure sign that you need to consult a professional if you have sustained hearing loss or pain in your ear. Schedule an appointment now.