Woman grimacing with hand on the left side of her head suffering from tinnitus

Are you experiencing ringing in your ears that’s driving you crazy? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you may have inherited it.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the name describing a person’s perception of a ringing, droning, or buzzing in the ear with no external stimulus present to explain this experience. The word tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”

How will my daily living be affected by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can disrupt personal connections in numerous annoying ways. It’s usually an indication that you have damaged hearing or some root health condition and not a disease in and of itself. You might hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can hinder your ability to concentrate.

Tinnitus is always disruptive regardless of how it’s manifesting. impact your sleep and even cause anxiety and depression.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be persistent or temporary. Short term types of tinnitus are normally brought on by prolonged exposure to loud noises, like a rock concert. There are a few medical conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.

A few of the conditions that may play host to tinnitus include:

  • Meniere’s Disease
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve
  • Changes in the composition of the ear bone
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Buildup of excessive earwax
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
  • Injuries to the neck or head
  • Several medications
  • Exposure to loud sound for prolonged time periods
  • Infection of the inner ear
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to conduct sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain

Could I have inherited this ringing in my ears from my parents?

Tinnitus isn’t directly inherited. But the symptoms can be affected by your genetics. You can, for instance, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. These changes are caused by irregular bone growth that can be handed down through family lines. Here are some other conditions you might have inherited that can cause tinnitus:

  • Specific diseases
  • Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
  • Being predisposed to depression or anxiety

The ringing in your ear is not directly inheritable, but you might have been genetically predisposed to the disorders that are breeding grounds for tinnitus.

If your family has a history of tinnitus, you should certainly come in for an assessment.

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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.