Do you have 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 known as tinnitus. The term tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”
How will tinnitus impact my everyday living?
Tinnitus can be aggravating and can interrupt intimate interactions. It’s usually an indication 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 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 typically the cause of temporary tinnitus. There are a few medical conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.
Here are a few conditions that generally go along with tinnitus:
- Age-related hearing impairment
- Infection of the inner ear
- Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor forms on the cranial nerve going from the inner ear to the brain
- Numerous medications
- Meniere’s Disease
- The ear bone has changed
- Accumulation of excessive earwax
- Head or neck injuries
- Prolonged exposure to loud noise
- Anxiety or depression
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to conduct sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
- Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
- Teeth grinding (bruxism) related to a TMJ disorder
Could I have inherited this tinnitus from my parents?
Tinnitus isn’t directly hereditary. However, your genetics can play a part in this condition. You can, as an example, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. Irregular bone growth can trigger these changes and can be handed down through genes. Some of the other conditions that can result in ringing in the ear may be inherited from your parents, including:
- Predisposition to anxiety or depression
- Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
- Specific diseases
The ringing in your ear isn’t directly inheritable, but you might 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 evaluate your hearing.