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

Are you going crazy 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 experience. The term tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”

How will my everyday living be impacted by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in many annoying 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 injury. 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. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be caused by tinnitus symptoms.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be constant or temporary. Short term types of tinnitus are usually brought on by extended exposure to loud sounds, like a rock concert. There are a few medical issues that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.

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

  • Depression or anxiety
  • Excessive earwax accumulation
  • Injuries to the neck or head
  • Prolonged exposure to loud sound
  • Various medications
  • Infection of the inner ear
  • The ear bone has undergone changes
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to conduct sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) caused by a TMJ disorder
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve
  • Injuries that impact nerves of the ear

Could I have inherited this ringing in my ears from my parents?

In general, tinnitus isn’t a hereditary condition. But the symptoms can be influenced by your genetics. You can, for instance, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. Irregular bone growth can cause these changes and can be passed down through genetics. Here are a few other conditions you might have inherited that can cause tinnitus:

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

The ringing in your ear is not 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 evaluation.

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