Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

Man blowing his nose sick with a common cold

While everybody has experienced a runny nose, we don’t commonly talk about other kinds of cold symptoms because they’re less common. Occasionally, a cold can go into one or more ears, but you rarely hear about those. This type of cold can be more risky than a common cold and should never be dismissed.

What does a cold in your ear feel like?

It’s not uncommon to feel some congestion in your ears when you have a common cold. After all, your ears and sinuses are connected. This blockage is usually relieved when you use a decongestant to relieve sinus symptoms.

But you should never ignore pain inside of your ear, even during a cold. The eardrum can become infected if the cold moves into the ears. When it does, inflammation occurs. Inflammation is an immune reaction that causes fluid to build up on the outside of the eardrum. So an individual who is coping with an inflamed eardrum may also experience a gradual leaking of fluid from the ear. This leak is most obvious when you sleep on your side because the leak is so gradual.

This affects how well you hear in the short term, which is known as conductive hearing loss. Unfortunately, it can also cause the eardrum to burst, which results in long-term hearing loss. As a result, more permanent damage occurs to the hearing nerves from the inflammation, which is known as sensorineural hearing loss.

It could be costly if you wait

Come in and see us if you’re experiencing any pain in your ears. In many cases, a primary doctor assumes that the ear symptoms will go away when the initial cold clears up. Sometimes, a patient won’t even remember to mention any pain they may be feeling in their ear. But if you’re feeling pain, the infection has progressed to a point where it is most likely doing damage to the ear. In order to prevent further damage, the ear infection needs to be promptly treated.

In many cases, ear pain will linger even after the cold goes away. Most individuals usually decide to consult a hearing specialist at this time. But by this time, a lot of damage has already been done. Irreversible hearing loss is often the consequence and that’s even more true with individuals who experience ear infections regularly.

After a while, hearing clarity is impacted by the tiny scars and perforations of the eardrum which are the consequence of ear infections. In an average, healthy person, the eardrum acts as a buffer between the middle ear and inner ear. If the eardrum becomes perforated even once, then the infection that was previously confined to the middle ear can now go into the inner ear, where it can harm the irreplaceable tiny nerve cells that you need to hear.

What should you do if you waited to treat that ear infection?

Don’t be so hard on yourself. A cold with pain in the ear can actually be a more serious cold than most individuals may think. If you are experiencing persistent hearing loss after a cold, it’s best to schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible.

We will determine if you’re dealing with conductive, or temporary hearing loss. If this is the case, you might have a blockage in your ear that needs to be extracted by a professional. If you’re dealing with sensorineural, or permanent hearing loss, there are treatment solutions, including new hearing technology, that we can help you with.

If you’re having trouble hearing after a cold, make an appointment asap.

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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.
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