HEARING TIPS

Beware: The Common Cold Can Damage Your Hearing

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

There are a few cold symptoms you shouldn’t ignore even though colds are normally considered harmless. The link between the common cold and ear infections has finally been confirmed by researchers. This is an important finding, because ear infections are a major contributing variable in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.

You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms

Considering that your sinuses and ears are connected, it’s not unusual to feel congested in your ears when you’re experiencing a cold. Normally, this feeling comes and goes, particularly if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining 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 help.

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

Is this very serious? A cold will normally only cause temporary issues with your hearing. However, permanent loss of hearing can result if the eardrum or cilia get injured and that can result in other health issues.

Hearing Loss Can Harm Your Overall Health

Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, an increase in accidents, and other health issues are associated with loss of hearing. An increase in healthcare costs has been associated with hearing loss by researchers recently. In fact, in only ten years, untreated hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.

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

Even a small amount of damage can add up. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having mild hearing loss can double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that each time you get an ear infection it can cause scarring that leads to considerable hearing loss over time.

Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?

Have you had ear pain for days and neglected it? It’s a common mistake, but get treatment immediately. Most 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 examination. If you schedule a hearing exam you can find out if:

  • there is any impact on your inner ear
  • you need to address damage to the eardrum
  • You have an ear infection right now

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

It’s a definite indication that you should consult a professional if you have prolonged hearing loss or pain in your ear. Schedule a hearing test today.

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