Is My Tinnitus Inherited?

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 mad? 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 external cause of the noise is a condition known as tinnitus. The direct translation of the term tinnitus is”ringing like a bell”.”

How will my everyday living be impacted by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can disrupt personal connections in many annoying ways. It’s not a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other ailments or conditions in your life like hearing loss or injury. You may hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can impede your ability to concentrate.

Tinnitus is always troublesome regardless of how it’s manifesting. Tinnitus can affect your sleep and even trigger anxiety and depression.

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be long lasting or it can come and go. Short term types of tinnitus are normally brought on by extended exposure to loud sounds, such as a rock concert. Tinnitus has been known to co-occur with several different medical conditions.

Here are a few situations that typically accompany tinnitus:

  • Numerous medications
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Extended exposure to loud noise
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
  • Inner ear infections
  • The ear bone has undergone changes
  • Hearing impairment associated with aging
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Anxiety or depression
  • 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
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve

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

In general, tinnitus isn’t an inherited condition. But the symptoms can be influenced by your genetics. 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. Some of the other conditions that can lead to ringing in the ear could be passed down from your parents, including:

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

The ringing in your ear isn’t directly inheritable, but you may have been genetically predisposed to the disorders that are breeding grounds for tinnitus.

If you have a history of tinnitus in your family, it’s really in your best interest to make an appointment with us so we can assess your hearing.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Schedule an appointment to see if hearing aids could benefit you.