Did I Inherit my Tinnitus?

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

Are you experiencing ringing in your ears that’s driving you crazy? Learn whether your tinnitus is inherited or what the cause may be.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the name referring to 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 term tinnitus is”ringing like a bell”.”

How will tinnitus affect my everyday living?

Tinnitus can be aggravating and can disrupt intimate connections. It’s not a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other ailments or circumstances in your life including hearing loss or damage. Your concentration can be seriously disrupted when you begin to hear tinnitus in one or both ears.

Tinnitus is always disruptive regardless of how it’s manifesting. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be caused by tinnitus symptoms.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be enduring or it can come and go. Temporary varieties of tinnitus are usually triggered by extended exposure to loud noises, such as a rock concert. Tinnitus has been known to manifest with several different medical issues.

Here are a few situations that typically accompany tinnitus:

  • Changes in the composition of the ear bone
  • Excessive earwax build-up
  • Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
  • Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to conduct sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Different medications
  • Inner ear infections
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Exposure to loud noise for prolonged time periods
  • Injuries to the neck or head
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor forms on the cranial nerve running from the brain to the inner ear

Could I have inherited this tinnitus from my parents?

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

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

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.

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.