Do you have ringing in your ears that’s driving you mad? Discover whether your tinnitus is inherited or what the cause might be.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the name referring to a person’s perception of a ringing, droning, or buzzing in the ear with no external stimulus present to explain this sensation. The term tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”
How will my day-to-day living be impacted by tinnitus?
Tinnitus can disrupt personal connections in numerous aggravating ways. It’s not a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other conditions or conditions in your life including hearing loss or injury. You may 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. Tinnitus can affect your sleep and even cause anxiety and depression.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be long lasting or it can come and go. Short term types of tinnitus are typically caused by extended exposure to loud sounds, like a rock concert. There are a few medical issues that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.
Here are several conditions that generally accompany tinnitus:
- Anxiety or depression
- Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor grows on the cranial nerve running from the inner ear to the brain
- Teeth grinding (bruxism) related to a TMJ disorder
- Excessive earwax accumulation
- Hearing loss related to aging
- Meniere’s Disease
- Exposure to loud sound for prolonged time periods
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the delicate hairs used to transport sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
- Numerous medications
- Inner ear infections
- Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
- Trauma to the neck or head
- Changes in the composition of the ear bone
Is it possible that my parents could have passed down the ringing in my ears?
Generally, tinnitus isn’t an inherited condition. But the symptoms can be influenced by your genetics. For example, ear bone changes that can result in tinnitus can be passed down. Irregular bone growth can cause these changes and can be handed down through genes. A few of the other conditions that can cause ringing in the ear might be inherited from your parents, including:
- Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
- Predisposition to anxiety or depression
- Certain diseases
You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are disorders that become breeding grounds for tinnitus which you could have inherited.
If your family has a history of tinnitus, you should certainly come in for an evaluation.