Do you have ringing in your ears that’s driving you crazy? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you may have inherited it.
What is tinnitus?
A ringing, buzzing, or droning in the ears with no outside cause of the sound is a condition called tinnitus. The word tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”
How will my day-to-day living be impacted by tinnitus?
Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in several annoying ways. It’s normally a sign that you have damaged hearing or some underlying health condition and not a disease in and of itself. Your ability to stay focused can be seriously disrupted when you start to hear tinnitus in one or both ears.
Regardless of the way in which you’re experiencing tinnitus, it’s always bothersome. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be triggered by tinnitus symptoms.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be long lasting or it can come and go. Sustained exposure to loud sound, like a rock concert, is normally the cause of short-term tinnitus. There are a number of medical issues that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.
A few of the circumstances that might play host to tinnitus include:
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to transport sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
- Bruxism, generally referred to as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
- A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve
- Several medications
- Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
- Inner ear infections
- Excessive earwax accumulation
- Hearing impairment related to aging
- Depression or anxiety
- Exposure to loud noise for sustained time periods
- The ear bone has changed
- Trauma to the neck or head
- Meniere’s Disease
Is it possible that my parents may have passed down the ringing in my ears?
Tinnitus isn’t directly hereditary. However, your genes can play a part in this condition. For instance, ear bone changes that can lead to tinnitus can be inherited. Abnormal bone growth can trigger these changes and can be passed down through family genes. A few of the other conditions that can result in ringing in the ear might be inherited from your parents, including:
- Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
- Predisposition to anxiety or depression
- Specific diseases
You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are disorders that become breeding grounds for tinnitus which you could have inherited.
If your family has a history of tinnitus, you should definitely come in for an assessment.