Caution: The Common Cold Can Lead to Hearing Problems

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

The American Lung Association has found that the average adult gets as many as four colds a year. That’s a lot even if most colds are minor viral infections. Whether the virus attacks the sinuses, throat or respiratory system, it can cause ear congestion, and eventually, an infection in the ear.

Even though many people consider colds harmless, there are some symptoms you shouldn’t ever dismiss. Scientists have finally confirmed the suspected connection between ear infections and the common cold. This is a significant finding, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the troubling rise in antibiotic resistance.

You Should Never Ignore These Symptoms

Considering that your sinuses and ears are interconnected, it’s not uncommon to feel stuffed up 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 only a few hours congestion can develop into an ear infection. This is the reason why you should always seek professional assistance if you have any pain or abnormal discharge in your ear.

Pain is a hint that your cold is moving in the wrong direction and can be evidence of inflammation or infection. You can prevent permanent damage, if detected early enough, by getting a prescription for antibiotics. If it’s dismissed, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and possibly injury to the cilia from inflammation.

How significant is this? Usually, cold related 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.

Hearing Loss Can Harm Your General Health

Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, more accidents, and other health issues are linked to loss of hearing. An increase in healthcare costs has been connected to loss of hearing by researchers recently. In fact, in just ten 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.

It adds up every time your ears take even minor damage. Johns Hopkins found that just having slight hearing loss can double your probability of getting dementia. Think about the fact that each time you have an ear infection it can lead to scarring that leads to significant hearing loss over time.

Having Ear Pain for Days?

Have you been suffered from ear pain for days and ignored it? Get treatment right away. Don’t make the common mistake of waiting too long. The majority of health insurance companies consider symptoms of an ear infection or ear pain an emergency and there’s good reason for that. It’s important to get your ear examined if you had any pain during your cold or are still having trouble hearing after your cold is gone. If you schedule a hearing test you can find out if:

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

A professional assessment can also ensure that there are no blockages in the ear that could cause irritation or temporary loss of hearing.

It’s a sure indication that you need to see a professional if you have sustained hearing loss or ear pain. Schedule a hearing exam 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.