Do you have 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?
Tinnitus is the name referring to a person’s perception of a ringing, droning, or buzzing in the ear with no external stimulus present to explain this experience. The direct translation of the word tinnitus is”ringing like a bell”.”
How will tinnitus impact my daily living?
Tinnitus can be frustrating and can interrupt intimate interactions. It’s not a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other conditions or circumstances in your life such as 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 disruptive regardless of how it’s manifesting. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be caused by tinnitus symptoms.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be persistent or temporary. Sustained exposure to loud noise, like a rock concert, is usually the cause of temporary tinnitus. There are a few medical conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.
Here are a few situations that typically accompany tinnitus:
- Different medications
- Exposure to loud noise for extended periods of time
- Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ disorder
- Anxiety or depression
- Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the delicate hairs used to transport sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
- Age-related hearing loss
- Injuries to the neck or head
- Excessive earwax build-up
- The ear bone has changed
- Infection of the inner ear
- Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
- A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve
- Meniere’s Disease
Could I have inherited this tinnitus from my parents?
Generally, tinnitus isn’t a hereditary condition. However, your genetics can play a part in this condition. You can, as an example, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. Abnormal bone growth can trigger these changes and can be passed down through genes. Here are a few other conditions you might have inherited that can cause tinnitus:
- Certain diseases
- Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
- Predisposition to anxiety or depression
You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are conditions that become breeding grounds for tinnitus which you might have inherited.
If your family has a history of tinnitus, you should certainly come in for an assessment.