Is My Tinnitus Inherited?

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

Tinnitus, what exactly is it?

A ringing, buzzing, or droning in the ears with no external cause of the noise is a condition known as tinnitus. The term tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”

How will my everyday living be impacted by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in several annoying ways. 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 injury. Your ability to stay focused can be seriously interrupted when you start 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 causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be enduring or it can come and go. Lengthy exposure to loud sound, 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 could play host to tinnitus include:

  • Inner ear infections
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to conduct sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Exposure to loud sound for sustained time periods
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Trauma to the neck or head
  • Excessive earwax accumulation
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve
  • The ear bone has undergone changes
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) triggered by a TMJ disorder
  • Various medications
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear

Could I have inherited this tinnitus from my parents?

Tinnitus isn’t directly inherited. However, your genetics can play a role in this symptom. You can, for instance, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. These changes are a consequence of abnormal bone growth that can be passed down through family lines. A few of the other conditions that can lead to ringing in the ear may be inherited from your parents, including:

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

The ringing in your ear is not directly inheritable, but you might have been genetically susceptible 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.

Questions?

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