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

The American Lung Association reports that the average adult gets up to four colds every year. While colds are usually minor viral infections, that’s still a lot. Whether the virus attacks the sinuses, throat or respiratory system, it can lead to ear congestion, and ultimately, an infection in the ear.

Despite the fact that many people think colds are harmless, there are some symptoms you don’t want to dismiss. Researchers have finally confirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This discovery is significant, 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 connected, it’s not unusual to feel congested in your ears when you have a cold. Normally, this feeling comes and goes, especially if you’re taking a decongestant and your head is draining fluids. But in just a few hours congestion can turn into an ear infection. This is the reason that if you have pain or discharge in your ears you need to get professional help.

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 result in scarring on the eardrum and potentially damage to the cilia from inflammation.

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

Loss of Hearing Can Harm Your General Health

Hearing loss has been associated with other health issues, from loss of cognitive ability to depression to a rise in accidents. Researchers have recently found a link between hearing loss and increased healthcare costs. In fact, in only 10 years, neglected hearing loss can raise your healthcare costs by 46%.

Your probability of needing 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 injury. Johns Hopkins discovered that just having mild hearing loss can double your risk of getting dementia. Consider the fact that every time you have an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.

Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?

Have you already neglected ear pain for days? Seek treatment right away. Don’t make the normal mistake of waiting too long. There’s a reason why the majority of health insurance companies consider ear pain or indications of an ear infection an emergency. It’s necessary to get your ear checked out if you had any pain during your cold or are still experiencing difficulty hearing after your cold has cleared. If you get a hearing exam you can find out if:

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

Pain or temporary hearing loss can be caused by a blockage in the ear that can also be identified by a professional ear test.

It’s a sure indication that you need to see a professional if you have sustained hearing loss or pain in your ear. Schedule a hearing test right away.