Are you experiencing ringing in your ears that’s driving you mad? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you may 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 sensation. The term tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”
How will my everyday living be affected by tinnitus?
Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in several frustrating ways. It isn’t a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other ailments or conditions in your life including hearing loss or damage. Your concentration can be significantly disrupted when you begin to hear tinnitus in one or both ears.
Tinnitus is always troublesome regardless of how it’s manifesting. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be triggered by tinnitus symptoms.
What are the causes of tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be persistent or temporary. Short term varieties of tinnitus are typically brought on by extended exposure to loud sounds, like a rock concert. Tinnitus has been documented to co-occur with several different medical conditions.
A few of the conditions that could play host to tinnitus include:
- Infection of the inner ear
- Teeth grinding (bruxism) caused by a TMJ disorder
- Head or neck injuries
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the delicate hairs used to transport sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
- Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor forms on the cranial nerve going from the inner ear to the brain
- Age-related hearing impairment
- Various medications
- Buildup of excessive earwax
- Sustained exposure to loud sound
- The ear bone has undergone changes
- Depression or anxiety
- Meniere’s Disease
- Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
Is it possible that my parents may have passed down the ringing in my ears?
Generally, tinnitus isn’t an inherited condition. However, your genetics can play a part in this condition. You can, as an example, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. These changes are a consequence of irregular bone growth that can be handed down through family lines. Some of the other conditions that can lead to ringing in the ear might be inherited from your parents, including:
- Certain diseases
- Predisposition to anxiety or depression
- Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
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 evaluation.