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 could have inherited it.

Tinnitus, what exactly is it?

A ringing, buzzing, or droning in the ears with no outside cause of the sound is a condition known as tinnitus. The term tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”

How will tinnitus impact my daily living?

Tinnitus can be aggravating and can disrupt intimate connections. It isn’t a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other ailments or conditions in your life such as hearing loss or damage. You may hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can impede your ability to focus.

Tinnitus is always disruptive regardless of how it’s manifesting. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be caused by tinnitus symptoms.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be enduring or it can come and go. Lengthy exposure to loud noise, like a rock concert, is typically the cause of temporary tinnitus. Tinnitus has been documented to manifest with several different medical conditions.

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

  • Inner ear infections
  • Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor grows on the cranial nerve running from the brain to the inner ear
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to transport sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Changes in the structure of the ear bone
  • Hearing loss related to aging
  • Prolonged exposure to loud sound
  • Buildup of excessive earwax
  • Bruxism, generally known as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
  • Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
  • Different medications
  • Anxiety or depression

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

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

  • Certain diseases
  • Being predisposed to depression or anxiety
  • 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 conditions 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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