Caution: Your Hearing Can be Damaged by The Common Cold

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 as many as four colds every year. That’s a lot even if the majority of colds are minor viral infections. Whether the virus attacks the respiratory system, throat, or sinuses, it can lead to ear congestion, and ultimately, an infection in the ear.

There are a few cold symptoms you don’t want to ignore despite the fact that colds are normally thought to be harmless. Scientists have finally confirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This finding is significant, because ear infections are a significant contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.

Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

It’s really common to feel congested in your ears when you have a cold due to the fact that your sinuses and ears are connected. Typically, this feeling comes and goes, particularly if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But in just 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 is a sign that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be evidence of inflammation or infection. If you take care of it early enough, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and prevent permanent damage. If it’s ignored, it can result in scarring on the eardrum and potentially injury to the cilia from inflammation.

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

Hearing Loss Can Harm Your General Health

Loss of cognitive ability, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health concerns are linked to loss of hearing. Researchers have recently shown a connection between hearing loss and more expensive healthcare expenses. In fact, in just a decade, untreated hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.

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

It adds up each time your ears take even minor damage. Even slight hearing loss can, Johns Hopkins found, double your probability of getting dementia. Consider the fact that significant hearing loss can be caused by scarring on the eardrum from recurring ear infections.

Have You Had Ear Pain For Several Days?

Have you already ignored ear pain for days? It’s a typical mistake, but seek treatment immediately. Most health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s a good reason for that. It’s necessary to get your ear evaluated if you had any pain during your cold or are still having difficulty hearing after your cold has cleared. A professional examination can tell you whether:

  • You have an ear infection now
  • there is any affect on your inner ear
  • there is injury to the eardrum that needs to be dealt with

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

Ear pain or chronic hearing loss are sure signs that you need to consult a professional. Schedule a hearing examination 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.