Did I Inherit my Tinnitus?

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

Are you going mad with that tinnitus in your ears? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you may have inherited it.

Tinnitus, what exactly is it?

Tinnitus is the term describing a person’s perception of a ringing, droning, or buzzing in the ear with no external noises present to explain this sensation. The direct translation of the term tinnitus is”ringing like a bell”.”

How will tinnitus impact my everyday living?

Tinnitus can be frustrating and can interrupt intimate interactions. It isn’t a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other conditions or circumstances in your life including hearing loss or injury. You may hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can hinder your ability to focus.

Tinnitus is always disruptive 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 persistent or temporary. Short term varieties of tinnitus are typically 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 circumstances that could play host to tinnitus include:

  • The ear bone has changed
  • Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve
  • Different medications
  • Exposure to loud noise for extended periods of time
  • Infection of the inner ear
  • Hearing loss associated with aging
  • Buildup of excessive earwax
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to transport sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear

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

Tinnitus isn’t directly inherited. However, your genes can play a role in this symptom. For example, ear bone changes that can lead to tinnitus can be passed down. These changes are caused by abnormal bone growth that can be passed down through family lines. A few of the other conditions that can produce ringing in the ear might be inherited from your parents, including:

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

The ringing in your ear is not 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 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.