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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 might have inherited it.

What is tinnitus?

A ringing, buzzing, or droning in the ears with no outside cause of the noise is a condition called tinnitus. The direct translation of the word tinnitus is”ringing like a bell”.”

How will my everyday living be affected by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be frustrating and can disrupt intimate interactions. It’s normally a sign that you have damaged hearing or some root health condition and not a disease in and of itself. Your concentration can be significantly disrupted when you start 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 caused by tinnitus symptoms.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be long lasting or it can come and go. Short term types of tinnitus are typically caused by extended exposure to loud noises, such as a rock concert. Tinnitus has been known to manifest with a few different medical issues.

A few of the circumstances that could play host to tinnitus include:

  • Exposure to loud sound for prolonged periods of time
  • Trauma to the neck or head
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • Hearing impairment related to aging
  • Inner ear infections
  • Accumulation of excessive earwax
  • Numerous medications
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to transport sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor grows on the cranial nerve going from the inner ear to the brain
  • Changes in the structure of the ear bone

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

Generally, tinnitus isn’t an inherited condition. But the symptoms can be influenced by your genes. For example, ear bone changes that can lead to tinnitus can be passed down. Abnormal bone growth can trigger these changes and can be handed down through genetics. Here are some other conditions you could have inherited that can result in tinnitus:

  • Predisposition to anxiety or depression
  • Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
  • Specific diseases

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 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.

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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.
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