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? 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 day to day living?

Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in several annoying ways. It’s normally a sign 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 impede your ability to focus.

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

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be persistent or temporary. Lengthy exposure to loud noise, like a rock concert, is usually the cause of temporary tinnitus. Tinnitus has been known to manifest with several different medical conditions.

Here are a few situations that generally go along with tinnitus:

  • Buildup of excessive earwax
  • Several medications
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, grows on cranial nerve
  • Extended exposure to loud sound
  • Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding stemming from temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
  • Hearing loss related to aging
  • Depression or anxiety
  • The ear bone has undergone changes
  • Trauma to the neck or head
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to transport sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Infection of the inner ear
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear

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

Tinnitus isn’t directly inherited. However, your genetics can play a part in this condition. For example, ear bone changes that can result in tinnitus can be passed down. Irregular bone growth can trigger these changes and can be passed down through genetics. Some of the other conditions that can produce ringing in the ear may be passed down from your parents, including:

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

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

If your family has a history of tinnitus, you should definitely come in for an evaluation.

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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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