Woman grimacing with hand on the left side of her head suffering from tinnitus

Are you going mad with that tinnitus in your ears? Learn whether your tinnitus is inherited or what the cause may be.

Tinnitus, what exactly is it?

Tinnitus is the term 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 everyday living be affected by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in many frustrating ways. It isn’t a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other conditions or conditions in your life such as hearing loss or injury. You may hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can impede your ability to concentrate.

Regardless of the way in which you’re experiencing tinnitus, it’s always disruptive. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be caused by tinnitus symptoms.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be long lasting or it can come and go. Sustained exposure to loud sound, like a rock concert, is typically the cause of short-term tinnitus. Tinnitus has been documented to co-occur with several different medical issues.

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

  • Infection of the inner ear
  • Numerous medications
  • The ear bone has undergone changes
  • Hearing loss related to aging
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
  • Sustained exposure to loud noise
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to transport sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • Excessive earwax accumulation
  • Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor forms on the cranial nerve running from the inner ear to the brain
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Head or neck injuries

Could I have inherited this tinnitus from my parents?

Generally, tinnitus isn’t an inherited condition. But the symptoms can be affected by your genes. You can, for instance, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. These changes are a consequence of irregular bone growth that can be passed down through family lines. A few of the other conditions that can lead to ringing in the ear may be passed down from your parents, including:

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

You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are conditions 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.

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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.