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

Tinnitus, what exactly is it?

Tinnitus is the term 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 word tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”

How will my everyday living be impacted by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can disrupt personal connections in many frustrating ways. It isn’t 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. You might hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can hinder your ability to focus.

Tinnitus is always troublesome regardless of how it’s manifesting. Tinnitus can affect your sleep and even cause anxiety and depression.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be constant or temporary. Lengthy exposure to loud sound, like a rock concert, is typically the cause of temporary tinnitus. Tinnitus has been known to co-occur with a few different medical conditions.

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

  • Head or neck injuries
  • Several medications
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve
  • Exposure to loud sound for sustained periods of time
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • The ear bone has undergone changes
  • Buildup of excessive earwax
  • Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding stemming from temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
  • Age-related hearing impairment
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to conduct sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Infection of the inner ear

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

In general, 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 passed down. Irregular bone growth can cause these changes and can be passed down through family genes. Here are some other conditions you could have inherited that can cause tinnitus:

  • Predisposition to anxiety or depression
  • Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
  • Specific 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 you have a history of tinnitus in your family, it’s really in your best interest to make an appointment with us so we can evaluate 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.
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