Are you experiencing ringing in your ears that’s driving you crazy? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you might have inherited it.
Tinnitus, what exactly is it?
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 direct translation of the term tinnitus is”ringing like a bell”.”
How will tinnitus affect my daily living?
Tinnitus can be annoying and can interrupt intimate interactions. It’s usually a sign that you have damaged hearing or some root health condition and not a disease in and of itself. You might hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can impede your ability to focus.
Regardless of the way in which you’re experiencing tinnitus, it’s always disruptive. Tinnitus can affect your sleep and even cause anxiety and depression.
What are the causes of tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be constant or temporary. Short term varieties of tinnitus are typically brought on by prolonged exposure to loud sounds, such as a rock concert. There are a few medical issues that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.
A few of the conditions that could play host to tinnitus include:
- Inner ear infections
- Head or neck injuries
- The ear bone has undergone changes
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to transport sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
- Excessive earwax accumulation
- Extended exposure to loud sound
- Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
- Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor grows on the cranial nerve running from the brain to the inner ear
- Depression or anxiety
- Various medications
- Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding stemming from temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
- Age-related hearing impairment
- Meniere’s Disease
Could I have inherited this ringing in my ears from my parents?
In general, tinnitus isn’t an inherited condition. However, your genes can play a part in this condition. For example, ear bone changes that can lead to tinnitus can be inherited. These changes are caused by abnormal bone growth that can be passed down through family lines. A few of the other conditions that can lead to ringing in the ear could be inherited from your parents, including:
- Certain diseases
- Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
- Being predisposed to depression or anxiety
The ringing in your ear isn’t directly inheritable, but you might have been genetically predisposed to the disorders that are breeding grounds for tinnitus.
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 evaluate your hearing.