The common cold is a viral infection that affects the upper respiratory system, causing symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, and congestion. While it is a common ailment that most people experience at some point in their lives, it is not typically associated with hearing loss.
However, in some cases, the common cold has the possibility to cause hearing loss. In most cases, hearing loss associated with a cold is temporary. Today we’re looking at why a common cold can cause hearing loss.
How Can a Common Cold Affect Your Hearing Health?
The common cold is caused by a virus that infects the lining of the nose and throat. When the virus infects the middle ear, it can cause inflammation and fluid buildup, leading to a condition known as otitis media. This is an infection of the middle ear that can cause symptoms such as pain, fever, and temporary hearing loss.
When the middle ear is infected, the fluid buildup can cause pressure on the eardrum. In turn, this can lead to temporary hearing loss. This is because the eardrum is responsible for transmitting sound vibrations to the inner ear, where they are converted into electrical signals that are sent to the brain. When the eardrum is under pressure, it cannot move as easily. This can reduce the amount of sound that reaches the inner ear.
In some cases, the common cold can also cause a build-up of wax in the ear canal. This can also lead to temporary hearing loss as the wax can block the ear canal, preventing sound from reaching the eardrum.
It’s important to note that while the common cold can cause temporary hearing loss, it is not typically a permanent condition. Once the cold has cleared up and the middle ear infection has been treated, the hearing loss should resolve itself.
However, if the hearing loss is persistent or accompanied by other symptoms such as severe pain, discharge from the ear, or a fever, it is important to seek medical attention. In these cases, there may be a more serious underlying condition that needs to be treated.
To prevent the common cold from causing hearing loss, it’s important to take steps to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes washing your hands frequently, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and staying away from crowded places during cold and flu season.
If you do develop a cold, it’s also important to manage your symptoms effectively. This includes getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids to stay hydrated, and using over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms such as congestion and pain.
Understanding how the common cold can affect your hearing can help you take steps to prevent and manage symptoms effectively. If you experience persistent hearing loss or other symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention.
Get Your Hearing Checked at Hearing Services of Delaware
If you would like to discuss your hearing concerns or to arrange a hearing assessment, don’t hesitate to get in touch. The team at Hearing Services of Delaware are here to help! Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our certified hearing care professionals.