Beware: The Common Cold Can Injure Your Hearing

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 as many as four colds a 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 lead to ear congestion, and ultimately, an ear infection.

There are some cold symptoms you don’t want to ignore despite the fact that colds are generally thought to be harmless. Researchers have finally confirmed the suspected link between ear infections and the common cold. This discovery is significant, because ear infections are a major contributing factor in the disturbing rise in antibiotic resistance.

Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

Because your sinuses and ears are interconnected, it’s not unusual to feel congested in your ears when you have a cold. Typically, this feeling comes and goes, particularly if you’re using a decongestant and your head is draining out fluids. But congestion can develop into an ear infection in only a few hours. This is why you should always get expert help if you have any pain or unusual discharge in your ear.

Pain is a sign that your cold is getting worse and can be evidence of inflammation or infection. If caught early, you can get a prescription for antibiotics and avoid permanent damage. If it’s neglected, it can lead to scarring on the eardrum and possibly damage to the cilia from inflammation.

How significant is this? Usually, cold-induced hearing loss is only temporary. Injury to your eardrum or cilia, however, can lead to permanent hearing loss…which can lead to other health issues.

Your General Health Can be Harmed by Loss of Hearing

Loss of cognitive capacity, depression, more accidents, and other health concerns have been linked to hearing loss. Researchers have recently shown a connection between loss of hearing and more expensive healthcare expenses. As a matter of fact, in just 10 years, neglected hearing loss can increase your healthcare expenses by 46%.

Hearing loss can also raise your probability of needing hospitalization by 50%….and also increase the probability of being readmitted.

Even a small amount of damage can add up. 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 repeated ear infections.

Have You Had Ear Pain For Days?

Have you been suffered from ear pain for days and neglected it? Get 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. If ear pain has occurred when you have a cold or after a cold get a hearing exam. If you get a hearing test you can find out if:

  • your inner ear is impacted
  • you currently have an ear infection
  • there is damage to the eardrum that needs to be addressed

Pain or temporary hearing loss 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 certain signs that you need to consult a professional. Schedule a hearing test right away.

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.