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

Are you going crazy with that tinnitus in your ears? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you may have inherited it.

Tinnitus, what exactly is it?

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

How will tinnitus affect my everyday living?

Tinnitus can be annoying and can interrupt intimate interactions. 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 start to hear tinnitus in one or both ears.

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

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be persistent or temporary. Sustained exposure to loud noise, like a rock concert, is typically the cause of temporary tinnitus. Tinnitus has been documented to co-occur with a few different medical conditions.

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

  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to transport sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Inner ear infections
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, grows on cranial nerve
  • Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
  • Excessive earwax accumulation
  • Various medications
  • Exposure to loud sound for sustained periods of time
  • The ear bone has undergone changes
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Bruxism, generally referred to as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
  • Hearing loss related to aging
  • Head or neck traumas
  • Anxiety or depression

Is it possible that my parents may 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. Irregular bone growth can trigger these changes and can be handed down through genes. Some of the other conditions that can produce ringing in the ear could be inherited from your parents, including:

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

You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are disorders that become breeding grounds for tinnitus which you might have inherited.

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.
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