Are you going crazy with that tinnitus in your ears? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you might have inherited it.
What is tinnitus?
A ringing, buzzing, or droning in the ears with no outside cause of the noise is a condition called tinnitus. The term tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”
How will tinnitus impact my day to day living?
Tinnitus can disrupt personal connections in numerous frustrating ways. It isn’t a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other ailments or circumstances in your life such as hearing loss or injury. You may hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can hinder your ability to concentrate.
Tinnitus is always disruptive regardless of how it’s manifesting. influence your sleep and even cause anxiety and depression.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be long lasting or it can come and go. Short term types of tinnitus are typically caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises, such as a rock concert. There are a few medical conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.
A few of the conditions that might play host to tinnitus include:
- Changes in the structure of the ear bone
- Several medications
- Excessive earwax accumulation
- Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to transport sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
- Exposure to loud noise for prolonged time periods
- Infection of the inner ear
- Meniere’s Disease
- Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor grows on the cranial nerve running from the inner ear to the brain
- Hearing impairment related to aging
- Injuries to the neck or head
- Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding stemming from temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
- Anxiety or depression
Could I have inherited this ringing in my ears from my parents?
Tinnitus isn’t directly inherited. However, your genetics can play a role in this symptom. For example, ear bone changes that can lead to tinnitus can be passed down. Irregular bone growth can cause these changes and can be passed down through genes. Here are a few other conditions you could have inherited that can trigger tinnitus:
- Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
- Specific diseases
- Predisposition to anxiety or depression
You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are conditions that become breeding grounds for tinnitus which you may have inherited.
If you have a history of tinnitus in your family, it’s truly in your best interest to make an appointment with us so we can assess your hearing.