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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? Discover whether your tinnitus is inherited or what the cause might be.

What is tinnitus?

A ringing, buzzing, or droning in the ears with no external cause of the sound is a condition called tinnitus. The word tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”

How will tinnitus affect my everyday living?

Tinnitus can disrupt personal connections in numerous frustrating ways. It’s not a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other ailments or circumstances in your life such as hearing loss or damage. You might hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can impede your ability to concentrate.

Tinnitus is always disruptive 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 enduring or it can come and go. Sustained exposure to loud noise, such as a rock concert, is typically the cause of temporary tinnitus. There are a number of medical conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.

A few of the conditions that may play host to tinnitus include:

  • Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor forms on the cranial nerve going from the brain to the inner ear
  • Changes in the structure of the ear bone
  • Various medications
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Excessive earwax accumulation
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Infection of the inner ear
  • Extended exposure to loud sound
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to transport sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Head or neck traumas
  • Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear

Is it possible that my parents may have passed down the ringing in my ears?

Tinnitus isn’t directly hereditary. But the symptoms can be affected by your genes. You can, as an example, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. Abnormal 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 prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
  • Being predisposed to depression or anxiety

You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are disorders that become breeding grounds for tinnitus which you could have inherited.

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

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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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