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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 crazy? Discover 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 term tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”

How will tinnitus affect my day to day living?

Tinnitus can be aggravating and can disrupt intimate interactions. It’s not a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other conditions or conditions in your life such as hearing loss or damage. 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 disruptive. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be triggered by tinnitus symptoms.

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be persistent or temporary. Short term types of tinnitus are usually triggered by prolonged exposure to loud sounds, such as a rock concert. Tinnitus has been documented to co-occur with several different medical issues.

Here are a few conditions that generally go along with tinnitus:

  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) triggered by a TMJ disorder
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Changes in the composition of the ear bone
  • Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor grows on the cranial nerve going from the brain to the inner ear
  • Excessive earwax accumulation
  • Age-related hearing impairment
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • Sustained exposure to loud noise
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to transport sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Infection of the inner ear
  • Several medications
  • Trauma to the neck or head
  • Depression or anxiety

Could I have inherited this tinnitus from my parents?

Generally, tinnitus isn’t a hereditary condition. However, your genes can play a role in this symptom. For example, ear bone changes that can result in tinnitus can be inherited. These changes are caused by irregular bone growth that can be handed down through family lines. Here are some other conditions you could have inherited that can trigger tinnitus:

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

The ringing in your ear is not directly inheritable, but you may 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 assess your hearing.

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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.