Is My Tinnitus Inherited?


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

Do you have ringing in your ears that’s driving you mad? Learn whether your tinnitus is inherited or what the cause may be.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the term referring to a person’s perception of a ringing, droning, or buzzing in the ear with no external noises 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 a sign that you have damaged hearing or some underlying health condition and not a disease in and of itself. You may hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can impede your ability to focus.

Regardless of how you’re experiencing tinnitus, it’s always bothersome. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be triggered by tinnitus symptoms.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be long lasting or it can come and go. Temporary types of tinnitus are normally caused by extended exposure to loud sounds, such as a rock concert. Tinnitus has been documented to manifest with a few different medical issues.

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

  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) caused by a TMJ disorder
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • The ear bone has undergone changes
  • Inner ear infections
  • Numerous medications
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Excessive earwax build-up
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Injuries to the neck or head
  • Hearing impairment associated with aging
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the delicate hairs used to transport sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Exposure to loud sound for extended time periods

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

Generally, 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. Irregular bone growth can trigger these changes and can be passed down through genetics. Here are some other conditions you might have inherited that can cause tinnitus:

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

The ringing in your ear isn’t directly inheritable, but you may have been genetically predisposed to the conditions that are breeding grounds for tinnitus.

If your family has a history of tinnitus, you should certainly come in for an assessment.

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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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