Did I Inherit my Tinnitus?

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

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?

A ringing, buzzing, or droning in the ears with no outside cause of the sound is a condition known as tinnitus. The word tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”

How will tinnitus impact my daily living?

Tinnitus can disrupt personal connections in several frustrating ways. It’s normally an indication that you have damaged hearing or some underlying health condition and not a disease in and of itself. You might hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can hinder your ability to focus.

Tinnitus is always disruptive regardless of how it’s manifesting. influence your sleep and even trigger anxiety and depression.

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be constant or temporary. Short term varieties of tinnitus are usually caused by prolonged exposure to loud sounds, such as a rock concert. There are a number of medical issues that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.

Here are a few conditions that typically accompany tinnitus:

  • Various medications
  • Trauma to the neck or head
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • Prolonged exposure to loud noise
  • The ear bone has undergone changes
  • Age-related hearing impairment
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the delicate hairs used to conduct sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Excessive earwax build-up
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) caused by a TMJ disorder
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, grows on cranial nerve
  • Infection of the inner ear
  • Anxiety or depression

Is it possible that my parents could have passed down the ringing in my ears?

Generally, tinnitus isn’t an inherited condition. But the symptoms can be affected by your genetics. For example, ear bone changes that can result in tinnitus can be inherited. Abnormal bone growth can cause these changes and can be handed down through family genes. A few of the other conditions that can lead to ringing in the ear could be passed down from your parents, including:

  • 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 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 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.


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