Is My Tinnitus Inherited?

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.

What is tinnitus?

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

How will my day-to-day living be affected by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in numerous frustrating ways. It’s normally a sign that you have damaged hearing or some root 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.

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

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be persistent or temporary. Sustained exposure to loud sound, such as a rock concert, is normally 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:

  • Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor grows on the cranial nerve running from the inner ear to the brain
  • Hearing impairment associated with aging
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • The ear bone has undergone changes
  • Bruxism, generally referred to as teeth grinding, caused by temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
  • Infection of the inner ear
  • Accumulation of excessive earwax
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Prolonged exposure to loud sound
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to transport sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Several medications
  • Head or neck injuries

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

In general, tinnitus isn’t an inherited condition. However, your genes can play a part in this symptom. For instance, ear bone changes that can result in tinnitus can be inherited. Irregular bone growth can cause these changes and can be passed down through genetics. Here are a few other conditions you may have inherited that can result in tinnitus:

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

The ringing in your ear is not directly inheritable, but you may have been genetically predisposed to the conditions that are breeding grounds for tinnitus.

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

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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