Are you experiencing ringing in your ears that’s driving you mad? Discover whether your tinnitus is inherited or what the cause may be.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the name referring to a person’s perception of a ringing, droning, or buzzing in the ear with no external stimulus present to explain this sensation. The word tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”
How will my everyday living be impacted by tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be annoying and can disrupt 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 concentration can be seriously interrupted when you begin to hear tinnitus in one or both ears.
Tinnitus is always disruptive regardless of how it’s manifesting. Tinnitus can affect your sleep and even cause anxiety and depression.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be constant or temporary. Temporary varieties of tinnitus are typically triggered by prolonged exposure to loud sounds, such as a rock concert. There are a few medical conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.
A few of the conditions that could play host to tinnitus include:
- Several medications
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to conduct sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
- Infection of the inner ear
- Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding stemming from temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
- Exposure to loud sound for extended time periods
- Changes in the structure of the ear bone
- Anxiety or depression
- Buildup of excessive earwax
- Age-related hearing impairment
- Head or neck injuries
- Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor forms on the cranial nerve running from the inner ear to the brain
- Meniere’s Disease
- 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 hereditary. But the symptoms can be affected by your genes. You can, for instance, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. Irregular bone growth can cause these changes and can be handed down through family genes. A few of the other conditions that can result in ringing in the ear might be inherited from your parents, including:
- Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
- Being predisposed to depression or anxiety
- Certain diseases
The ringing in your ear isn’t directly inheritable, but you may have been genetically susceptible to the disorders that are breeding grounds for tinnitus.
If your family has a history of tinnitus, you should definitely come in for an assessment.