Caution: The Common Cold Can Damage Your Hearing

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 up to four colds every year. Although colds are normally minor viral infections, that’s a lot. Whether the virus attacks the respiratory system, throat, or sinuses, it can cause ear congestion, and eventually, an infection in the ear.

There are some symptoms of a cold you shouldn’t ignore despite the fact that colds are normally thought to be harmless. The connection between the common cold and ear infections has finally been verified by researchers. This is a significant discovery, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.

You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms

Considering that your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not uncommon to feel stuffed up in your ears when you have a cold. Typically, this feeling comes and goes, particularly if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining out fluids. But congestion can develop into an ear infection in only a few hours. This is the reason that if you’re experiencing pain or discharge in your ears you need to get professional assistance.

Pain can be an indication of inflammation and infection and is a sign your cold is moving in the wrong direction. If caught early, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and avoid permanent injury. If it’s ignored, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and potentially damage to the cilia from inflammation.

Is this very significant? Generally, cold induced hearing loss is only temporary. Damage to your eardrum or cilia, however, can result in permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health problems.

Your Overall Health Can be Harmed by Loss of Hearing

Loss of cognitive ability, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health issues have been connected to loss of hearing. An increase in healthcare expenses has been linked with hearing loss by researchers recently. As a matter of fact, in only 10 years, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare expenses by 46%.

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

Even a small amount of injury can add up. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your chances of getting dementia. Consider the fact that every time you have an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to considerable hearing loss over time.

Suffering From Pain for Days?

Have you already neglected ear pain for days? It’s a typical oversight, but seek treatment right away. There’s a reason most health insurance companies consider ear pain or signs of an ear infection an emergency. If you feel pain in your ear during a cold or after a cold schedule a hearing examination. A professional examination can determine whether:

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

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

Ear pain or chronic hearing loss are certain signs that you should see a professional. Schedule an appointment today.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.