Are you experiencing ringing in your ears that’s driving you mad? Learn whether your tinnitus is inherited or what the cause may be.
Tinnitus, what exactly is it?
A ringing, buzzing, or droning in the ears with no external cause of the sound is a condition known as tinnitus. The word tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”
How will tinnitus affect my day to day living?
Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in many frustrating ways. It’s not a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other ailments or circumstances in your life like hearing loss or injury. Your ability to stay focused can be significantly interrupted when you begin to hear tinnitus in one or both ears.
Tinnitus is always disruptive regardless of how it’s manifesting. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be triggered by tinnitus symptoms.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be long lasting or it can come and go. Temporary types of tinnitus are usually caused by extended exposure to loud sounds, like a rock concert. There are a few medical conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.
Here are several situations that generally go along with tinnitus:
- Changes in the composition of the ear bone
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to transport sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
- Head or neck traumas
- Exposure to loud sound for extended periods of time
- Teeth grinding (bruxism) caused by a TMJ disorder
- Meniere’s Disease
- A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, grows on cranial nerve
- Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
- Buildup of excessive earwax
- Depression or anxiety
- Age-related hearing impairment
- Infection of the inner ear
- Different medications
Is it possible that my parents may have passed down the ringing in my ears?
In general, tinnitus isn’t a hereditary condition. But the symptoms can be influenced by your genes. You can, for instance, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. These changes are related to abnormal bone growth that can be passed down through family lines. Some of the other conditions that can lead to ringing in the ear could 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 you have a history of tinnitus in your family, it’s really in your best interest to schedule an appointment with us so we can evaluate your hearing.