Did I Inherit my Tinnitus?

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

What is tinnitus?

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

How will my daily living be affected by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can disrupt personal connections in many aggravating ways. It isn’t a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other ailments or circumstances in your life such as hearing loss or injury. You might 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 triggered by tinnitus symptoms.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be persistent or temporary. Sustained exposure to loud sounds, such as a rock concert, is typically the cause of temporary tinnitus. Tinnitus has been known to manifest with several different medical issues.

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

  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Trauma to the neck or head
  • Prolonged exposure to loud noise
  • Various medications
  • Inner ear infections
  • Hearing loss associated with aging
  • Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) caused by a TMJ disorder
  • Changes in the composition of the ear bone
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to conduct sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve
  • Excessive earwax build-up

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

In general, tinnitus isn’t a hereditary condition. However, your genetics can play a role in this symptom. You can, as an example, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. Abnormal bone growth can trigger these changes and can be handed down through genes. Here are some other conditions you might have inherited that can cause tinnitus:

  • Predisposition to anxiety or depression
  • Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
  • Specific 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 definitely come in for an evaluation.

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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