Do you have 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?
Tinnitus is the term describing a person’s perception of a ringing, droning, or buzzing in the ear with no external stimulus present to explain this experience. The term tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”
How will tinnitus affect my daily living?
Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in numerous frustrating ways. It isn’t a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other conditions or circumstances in your life such as hearing loss or damage. Your concentration can be seriously disrupted when you begin to hear tinnitus in one or both ears.
Regardless of how you’re experiencing tinnitus, it is always disruptive. Tinnitus can affect your sleep and even cause anxiety and depression.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be enduring or it can come and go. Sustained exposure to loud sound, such as a rock concert, is usually the cause of temporary tinnitus. Tinnitus has been documented to co-occur with several different medical conditions.
A few of the circumstances that might play host to tinnitus include:
- Sustained exposure to loud sound
- Meniere’s Disease
- Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor forms on the cranial nerve running from the brain to the inner ear
- Head or neck injuries
- Various medications
- Changes in the composition of the ear bone
- Infection of the inner ear
- Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
- Hearing impairment associated with aging
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to conduct sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
- Buildup of excessive earwax
- Depression or anxiety
- Bruxism, generally referred to as teeth grinding stemming from temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
Could I have inherited this ringing in my ears from my parents?
Generally, tinnitus isn’t a hereditary condition. However, your genes can play a role in this symptom. For instance, ear bone changes that can result in tinnitus can be inherited. These changes are a consequence of 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 passed down from your parents, including:
- Being predisposed to depression or anxiety
- Certain diseases
- Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are conditions that become breeding grounds for tinnitus which you could have inherited.
If your family has a history of tinnitus, you should certainly come in for an evaluation.