Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

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

Are you going crazy 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 sound is a condition known as tinnitus. The word tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”

How will my day-to-day living be affected by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be frustrating and can interrupt intimate interactions. It’s usually a sign 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 concentrate.

Tinnitus is always troublesome regardless of how it’s manifesting. 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 normally caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises, like a rock concert. There are a few medical conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.

A few of the circumstances that might play host to tinnitus include:

  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • The ear bone has undergone changes
  • Inner ear infections
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor forms on the cranial nerve going from the inner ear to the brain
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to conduct sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Extended exposure to loud sound
  • Accumulation of excessive earwax
  • Bruxism, generally known as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
  • Numerous medications
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Injuries to the neck or head

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

Tinnitus isn’t directly hereditary. But the symptoms can be affected by your genetics. For example, ear bone changes that can lead to tinnitus can be inherited. These changes are caused by irregular bone growth that can be handed down through family lines. A few of the other conditions that can produce ringing in the ear may be passed down from your parents, including:

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

The ringing in your ear is not 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.

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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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