Are you going mad with that tinnitus in your ears? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you could 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 term tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”
How will my day-to-day living be impacted by tinnitus?
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 circumstances in your life like hearing loss or injury. 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. Tinnitus can affect your sleep and even trigger anxiety and depression.
What are the causes of tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be constant or temporary. Lengthy exposure to loud sound, like a rock concert, is usually the cause of temporary tinnitus. Tinnitus has been known to co-occur with a few different medical conditions.
Here are a few situations that generally go along with tinnitus:
- Anxiety or depression
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the delicate hairs used to conduct sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
- Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor grows on the cranial nerve running from the brain to the inner ear
- Meniere’s Disease
- Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
- Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
- Hearing impairment associated with aging
- Changes in the structure of the ear bone
- Numerous medications
- Excessive earwax accumulation
- Infection of the inner ear
- Head or neck traumas
- Exposure to loud sound for sustained periods of time
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 symptom. You can, for instance, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. Irregular bone growth can trigger these changes and can be passed down through genes. Here are some other conditions you could have inherited that can trigger tinnitus:
- Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
- Certain diseases
- Predisposition to anxiety or depression
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 definitely come in for an assessment.