Do you have ringing in your ears that’s driving you mad? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you may 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 noises present to explain this experience. The direct translation of the term tinnitus is”ringing like a bell”.”
How will tinnitus impact my daily living?
Tinnitus can disrupt personal connections in many aggravating 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 damage. You may 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. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be triggered by tinnitus symptoms.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be long lasting or it can come and go. Lengthy exposure to loud noise, such as a rock concert, is normally the cause of short-term tinnitus. Tinnitus has been known to manifest with a few different medical conditions.
A few of the circumstances that could play host to tinnitus include:
- Various medications
- Head or neck traumas
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to transport sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
- Age-related hearing loss
- Depression or anxiety
- Changes in the composition of the ear bone
- Meniere’s Disease
- Excessive earwax build-up
- Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor forms on the cranial nerve running from the brain to the inner ear
- Teeth grinding (bruxism) triggered by a TMJ disorder
- Prolonged exposure to loud sound
- Infection of the inner ear
- Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
Could I have inherited this ringing in my ears from my parents?
Tinnitus isn’t directly hereditary. However, your genes can play a part in this condition. You can, for instance, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. These changes are a consequence of irregular bone growth that can be passed down through family lines. Here are a few other conditions you may have inherited that can result in tinnitus:
- Being predisposed to depression or anxiety
- Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
- Certain diseases
You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are disorders that become breeding grounds for tinnitus which you might have inherited.
If your family has a history of tinnitus, you should definitely come in for an assessment.