Is My Tinnitus Inherited?

Woman grimacing with hand on the left side of her head suffering from tinnitus

Are you going mad with that tinnitus in your ears? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you might have inherited it.

Tinnitus, what exactly is it?

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 my day-to-day living be impacted by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in many frustrating ways. It’s usually an indication that you have damaged hearing or some root health condition and not a disease in and of itself. You may hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can impede your ability to concentrate.

Regardless of how 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 persistent or temporary. Temporary types of tinnitus are usually brought on by prolonged exposure to loud noises, like a rock concert. Tinnitus has been known to manifest with a few different medical issues.

Here are several situations that typically accompany tinnitus:

  • Meniere’s Disease
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, grows on cranial nerve
  • Accumulation of excessive earwax
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
  • The ear bone has undergone changes
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Inner ear infections
  • Different medications
  • Prolonged exposure to loud sound
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to transport sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
  • Age-related hearing impairment

Could I have inherited this ringing in my ears from my parents?

Generally, tinnitus isn’t an inherited condition. However, your genes can play a role in this condition. You can, for instance, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. Abnormal bone growth can cause these changes and can be handed down through genetics. Here are some other conditions you might have inherited that can trigger tinnitus:

  • Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
  • Predisposition to anxiety or depression
  • Certain diseases

You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are conditions that become breeding grounds for tinnitus which you may have inherited.

If your family has a history of tinnitus, you should certainly come in for an evaluation.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.