Do you have ringing in your ears that’s driving you crazy? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you could 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 day-to-day living be impacted by tinnitus?
Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in many annoying ways. It’s not a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other ailments or conditions in your life like hearing loss or injury. You might hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can impede your ability to concentrate.
Regardless of the way in which you’re experiencing tinnitus, it’s always disruptive. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be caused by tinnitus symptoms.
What are the causes of tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be persistent or temporary. Lengthy exposure to loud sound, like a rock concert, is normally the cause of short-term tinnitus. Tinnitus has been documented to co-occur with a few different medical conditions.
A few of the conditions that may play host to tinnitus include:
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to conduct sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
- Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
- Hearing loss associated with aging
- Infection of the inner ear
- Numerous medications
- Anxiety or depression
- Changes in the structure of the ear bone
- Excessive earwax accumulation
- Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
- Head or neck traumas
- Extended exposure to loud sound
- Meniere’s Disease
- Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor grows on the cranial nerve going from the inner ear to the brain
Is it possible that my parents may have passed down the ringing in my ears?
Tinnitus isn’t directly inherited. However, your genes can play a part in this symptom. You can, as an example, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. Abnormal bone growth can trigger these changes and can be handed down through genes. Here are a few other conditions you might have inherited that can trigger tinnitus:
- Being predisposed to depression or anxiety
- Specific diseases
- Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are disorders that become breeding grounds for tinnitus which you might have inherited.
If you have a history of tinnitus in your family, it’s truly in your best interest to schedule an appointment with us so we can assess your hearing.