The common cold has been running around Maryland and other states for the past few months. It is not entirely uncommon for a cold season to occur each year, and there are thankfully plenty of ways to help keep the immune system up and heal symptoms and sickness. Even so, the common cold can affect more than just your nose. It can also hurt your ears! Here’s the connection between the common cold and your hearing.
How the Common Cold Can Affect Your Hearing
The common cold is a virus that infects the upper respiratory system. The virus can cause inflammation, an itchy throat, and nasal discharge. Wherever the pathogen spreads, the body reacts to fight it. The relationship between the common cold and your hearing lies in the Eustachian tubes, the air-filled channels connecting the back of the throat and the middle ear. This link opens up the possibility of an ear infection.
Symptoms of Cold-Related Hearing Loss
Cold-related hearing loss is muffled hearing because of blocked Eustachian tubes. Mucus and other fluids produced by the cold can block the Eustachian tubes and hamper one’s hearing. This type of hearing loss will pass as soon as the tubes are clear and the cold symptoms dissipate.
If the cold causes an ear infection, the affected person could experience other symptoms, such as ear pain, discharge from the ear, dizziness, and a feeling of fullness in the ear. In almost all cases, an ear infection will eventually go away, and full hearing returns.
How a Cold Could Cause Permanent Hearing Loss
A cold could only cause permanent hearing loss if the ear infection is severe and long enough. If the middle ear is inflamed, it could possibly damage the ossicles, three little bones that help transfer sound waves. If the cochlea has fluid buildup, the pressure could harm the tiny hairs in it that carry electrical signals. Either way, the result would be sensorineural hearing loss.
Treating Your Cold-Induced Hearing Loss
One of the best ways to treat cold-induced hearing loss is to treat the cold symptoms. Most of the time, your hearing will return once the congestion is over. Decongestants, pain relievers, herbal teas, and steam can help your sinuses open up and your body recover.
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that are personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.