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

Do you have ringing in your ears that’s driving you mad? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you could have inherited it.

What is tinnitus?

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

How will my everyday living be impacted by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in several annoying ways. It’s not a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other ailments or conditions in your life including hearing loss or injury. Your concentration can be seriously interrupted when you begin to hear tinnitus in one or both ears.

Regardless of how you’re experiencing tinnitus, it is always disruptive. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be triggered by tinnitus symptoms.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be long lasting or it can come and go. Sustained exposure to loud noise, such as a rock concert, is typically the cause of temporary tinnitus. There are a number of medical issues that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.

Here are several situations that typically go along with tinnitus:

  • Depression or anxiety
  • Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Trauma to the neck or head
  • Extended exposure to loud sound
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • Different medications
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve
  • Changes in the composition of the ear bone
  • Buildup of excessive earwax
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to transport sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Hearing loss related to aging
  • Inner ear infections

Is it possible that my parents could have passed down the ringing in my ears?

Generally, tinnitus isn’t a hereditary condition. However, your genes can play a part in this symptom. You can, as an example, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. These changes are caused by abnormal bone growth that can be passed down through family lines. Here are a few other conditions you may have inherited that can cause tinnitus:

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

The ringing in your ear isn’t directly inheritable, but you may have been genetically predisposed to the disorders that are breeding grounds for tinnitus.

If you have a history of tinnitus in your family, it’s really in your best interest to make an appointment with us so we can assess your hearing.

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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.

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