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

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the term 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 direct translation of the term tinnitus is”ringing like a bell”.”

How will tinnitus impact my everyday living?

Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in numerous annoying ways. It’s not a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other ailments or circumstances in your life like hearing loss or damage. 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. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be caused by tinnitus symptoms.

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be persistent or temporary. Lengthy exposure to loud sound, like a rock concert, is normally the cause of temporary tinnitus. There are a number of medical conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.

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

  • Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
  • Changes in the composition of the ear bone
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor grows on the cranial nerve running from the brain to the inner ear
  • Head or neck traumas
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to conduct sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Exposure to loud sound for sustained time periods
  • Inner ear infections
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Several medications
  • Excessive earwax accumulation
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear

Could I have inherited this tinnitus from my parents?

In general, tinnitus isn’t a hereditary condition. But the symptoms can be influenced by your genetics. For example, ear bone changes that can lead to tinnitus can be inherited. These changes are related to abnormal bone growth that can be passed down through family lines. A few of the other conditions that can result in ringing in the ear may be passed down from your parents, including:

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

The ringing in your ear is not directly inheritable, but you may 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 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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