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 may have inherited it.

What is tinnitus?

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

How will tinnitus affect my daily living?

Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in several frustrating ways. It’s usually a sign that you have damaged hearing or some underlying health condition and not a disease in and of itself. Your concentration can be seriously disrupted when you begin to hear tinnitus in one or both ears.

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

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be long lasting or it can come and go. Sustained exposure to loud noise, like a rock concert, is normally the cause of temporary tinnitus. There are a few medical conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.

Here are a few situations that generally accompany tinnitus:

  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Exposure to loud sound for prolonged periods of time
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Injuries to the neck or head
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to conduct sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Excessive earwax build-up
  • Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
  • Hearing loss related to aging
  • Bruxism, generally referred to as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
  • Inner ear infections
  • Numerous medications
  • The ear bone has changed

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

Tinnitus isn’t directly inherited. However, your genes can play a role in this condition. You can, as an example, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. Abnormal bone growth can cause these changes and can be passed down through family genes. A few of the other conditions that can produce ringing in the ear may be inherited from your parents, including:

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

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 you have a history of tinnitus in your family, it’s truly 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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