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 stimulus present to explain this sensation. The direct translation of the term tinnitus is”ringing like a bell”.”
How will tinnitus affect my day to day living?
Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in numerous 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 focus.
Regardless of the way in which you’re experiencing tinnitus, it’s always bothersome. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be caused by tinnitus symptoms.
What are the causes of tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be enduring or it can come and go. Temporary types of tinnitus are typically brought on by prolonged exposure to loud noises, such as a rock concert. There are a few medical issues that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.
Here are several conditions that generally go along with tinnitus:
- Depression or anxiety
- Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor forms on the cranial nerve running from the inner ear to the brain
- Infection of the inner ear
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to transport sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
- Excessive earwax build-up
- Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
- Meniere’s Disease
- Various medications
- Trauma to the neck or head
- The ear bone has undergone changes
- Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding stemming from temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
- Exposure to loud noise for extended periods of time
- Hearing loss associated with aging
Is it possible that my parents could have passed down the ringing in my ears?
Tinnitus isn’t directly hereditary. But the symptoms can be influenced by your genes. For example, ear bone changes that can lead to tinnitus can be inherited. Abnormal bone growth can trigger these changes and can be passed down through genetics. Here are a few other conditions you may have inherited that can result in tinnitus:
- Predisposition to anxiety or depression
- Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
- Specific diseases
You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are conditions that become breeding grounds for tinnitus which you could have inherited.
If your family has a history of tinnitus, you should certainly come in for an assessment.