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? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you may have inherited it.

Tinnitus, what exactly is it?

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 annoying and can interrupt intimate connections. It’s usually an indication that you have damaged hearing or some underlying health condition and not a disease in and of itself. Your ability to stay focused can be significantly 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 caused by tinnitus symptoms.

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be enduring or it can come and go. Short term types of tinnitus are normally triggered by prolonged exposure to loud sounds, like a rock concert. Tinnitus has been documented to manifest with a few different medical conditions.

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

  • The ear bone has changed
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Sustained exposure to loud sound
  • Numerous medications
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the delicate hairs used to transport sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Inner ear infections
  • Age-related hearing impairment
  • Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor grows on the cranial nerve going from the inner ear to the brain
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Excessive earwax build-up
  • Injuries that impact nerves of the ear

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

Generally, tinnitus isn’t an inherited condition. But the symptoms can be affected by your genes. You can, for instance, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. These changes are caused by abnormal bone growth that can be passed down through family lines. Here are some other conditions you could have inherited that can trigger 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 might have been genetically susceptible to the disorders that are breeding grounds for tinnitus.

If you have a history of tinnitus in your family, it’s truly in your best interest to schedule an appointment with us so we can assess your hearing.

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.