Turns out there’s a reason they call it the common cold! Research shows us that adults have an average of 2-3 colds per year and that children have even more. While colds are often mild, they can cause a few unpleasant symptoms, including, in some cases, temporary hearing loss.
Common Cold Symptoms
Symptoms of a cold can mimic other conditions like allergies and COVID-19. In general, they include:
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Headaches and body aches
- Temporary muffled hearing or hearing loss
Typically, these symptoms won’t last longer than 7-10 days and often don’t require additional medical attention.
How Colds Affect Your Hearing
Colds cause congestion in the nose, sinuses and throat. When a person is congested, the fluid and mucus can reach the Eustachian tubes in the ear. This fluid buildup can make it difficult for soundwaves to travel through the ear and lead to muffled hearing or temporary hearing loss.
Colds can also sometimes be the cause of an ear infection, which, in addition to earache and fever, can also cause temporary hearing loss.
In cases of both a cold or ear infections, your hearing or that of your child should return to normal in a few days as you start to get better and your other symptoms fade.
Can a Cold Lead To Permanent Hearing Loss?
While a cold cannot directly cause permanent hearing loss, there is some evidence that chronic ear infections can. This is because chronic infections can eventually damage the structure of the ear. If you or your child regularly experiences ear infections after getting a cold, see a doctor to discuss your treatment options to prevent permanent damage.
Treating Your Cold
If you have hearing issues from a cold, you should contact your doctor to see if they think any kind of additional treatment is required. However, in most cases all that’s needed is a few days of rest, drinking plenty of fluids and using over-the-counter medications for congestion or pain.
When To Get Your Hearing Checked
If your hearing issues linger after the rest of your symptoms clear up, and you find yourself struggling to follow conversations at work or when out with friends at The Brunch House of Augusta, contact your doctor. They may recommend that you have an ear examination and a hearing test to figure out if any permanent hearing loss has occurred.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Augusta - Aiken ENT & Allergy today.