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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 mad? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you could have inherited it.

What is tinnitus?

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

How will my everyday living be affected by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be frustrating and can disrupt intimate connections. 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 significantly interrupted 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 causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be constant or temporary. Sustained exposure to loud noise, like a rock concert, is normally the cause of short-term tinnitus. There are a number of medical issues that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.

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

  • Exposure to loud sound for extended periods of time
  • The ear bone has undergone changes
  • Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, grows on cranial nerve
  • Buildup of excessive earwax
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Age-related hearing impairment
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) related to a TMJ disorder
  • Several medications
  • Infection of the inner ear
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the delicate hairs used to transport sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Meniere’s Disease

Could I have inherited this tinnitus from my parents?

Tinnitus isn’t directly hereditary. However, your genetics can play a role in this condition. You can, for instance, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. These changes are related to abnormal bone growth that can be handed down through family lines. Some of the other conditions that can result in ringing in the ear may be passed down 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 predisposed to the disorders that are breeding grounds for tinnitus.

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

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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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