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 crazy? Discover whether your tinnitus is inherited or what the cause may be.

What is tinnitus?

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

How will my everyday living be affected by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be annoying and can disrupt intimate connections. It’s normally an indication that you have damaged hearing or some underlying health condition and not a disease in and of itself. You may hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can hinder your ability to focus.

Regardless of the way in which you’re experiencing tinnitus, it’s always bothersome. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be caused by tinnitus symptoms.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be persistent or temporary. Temporary varieties of tinnitus are typically triggered by prolonged exposure to loud noises, like a rock concert. There are a number of medical conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.

Here are a few conditions that generally accompany tinnitus:

  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve
  • Inner ear infections
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Changes in the structure of the ear bone
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to conduct sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Accumulation of excessive earwax
  • Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding stemming from temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • Sustained exposure to loud sound
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Numerous medications
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Meniere’s Disease

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

In general, tinnitus isn’t a hereditary condition. But the symptoms can be influenced by your genes. You can, for instance, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. Abnormal bone growth can cause these changes and can be passed down through family genes. Here are some other conditions you could have inherited that can trigger tinnitus:

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

The ringing in your ear isn’t directly inheritable, but you might 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 schedule 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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