How COMMON COLD affects hearing loss?

Three days ago I had a common cold (one and a half day of very strong incessant sneezing and runny nose) during which I did not wear my hearing aids. Now I am cured but my hearing became substantially weaker (with and without the hearing aids), and what is especially bad - primarily for the speech hearing and understanding.

I have found in the forums’ messages occasional notes about the hearing weakening due to common colds but no discussions on this subject.

It is a crucial question now (for me and certainly for many more) to know - What are the chances (if any) of a hearing recovery after a common cold?

Many thanks for all and any information on this question as well as about the “mechanism” of the common cold action on the hearing.

My hearing BEFORE my common cold

I am no expert, but I would think that your inner ear and eustachian tubes are most likely inflamed due to the virus. The eustachian tube is directly connected to the throat, so it has an expressway for the virus to get in there. If hearing does not improve soon, may need a round of steroids to reduce the swelling.

That is just my best guess.

I had a similar experience recently and after I recovered from my cold it got better but took a week or so. It is not uncommon to get fluid in the inner ear when you get a cold which will reduce hearing. As Reidan said there can also be swelling that can affect air flow and fluid drainage to and from the inner ear. * If you don’t have pain it is probably not a bacterial infection that would require antibiotics. If you have no contraindications a decongestant might help reduce some of the swelling more quickly. There are some viral infections that can affect hearing so if it doesn’t start getting better you should get your ear checked, but permanent hearing loss is not typically an issue with the common cold.

*(Which is why is is not a good idea to fly when you have a severe cold as the lessened ability to equilibrate pressure in the inner ear via the Eustachian tube with the pressure changes in the plane, especially on descent, can potentially cause barotrauma to the ear)

I just read Dr. Amy’s post below and as usual her advice is excellent.

The other posters are right and probably answered your question sufficiently. It’s common to feel healed, but still have residual fluid behind your eardrum, or eustachian tubes that aren’t quite back to 100%. I would however, suggest a quick trip to your audi for a hearing re-check. He/she will be able to tell if it is just due to the cold (showing a conductive component) or from an actual virus. If it’s just from fluid or residual cold symptoms, you should recover to pre-cold hearing levels. But if a virus got ahold of your hearing, it’s likely it will not recover. The only treatment for that would be a stiff round of steroids, but this is usually most effective if you start the steroids 24-48 hours within onset of the virus. Good luck!