Is My Tinnitus Inherited?

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

Are you going mad with that tinnitus in your ears? Learn whether your tinnitus is inherited or what the cause might be.

Tinnitus, what exactly is it?

A ringing, buzzing, or droning in the ears with no outside cause of the noise is a condition known as tinnitus. The term tinnitus translates to “ringing like a bell.”

How will tinnitus impact my daily living?

Tinnitus can be annoying and can disrupt intimate interactions. It’s not a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other conditions or circumstances in your life including hearing loss or injury. You might hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can impede your ability to focus.

Tinnitus is always troublesome 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 long lasting or it can come and go. Sustained exposure to loud sound, such as a rock concert, is typically the cause of temporary tinnitus. There are a few medical conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand with tinnitus.

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

  • Various medications
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) related to a TMJ disorder
  • Injuries to the neck or head
  • Infection of the inner ear
  • Sustained exposure to loud noise
  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, grows on cranial nerve
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to transport sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Changes in the composition of the ear bone
  • Hearing impairment associated with aging
  • Excessive earwax accumulation

Could I have inherited this tinnitus from my parents?

Tinnitus isn’t directly hereditary. However, your genes can play a role in this condition. You can, for instance, inherit a tendency for your ear bone to change. These changes are related to irregular bone growth that can be passed down through family lines. Some of the other conditions that can lead to ringing in the ear may be passed down from your parents, including:

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

You can’t directly inherit tinnitus, but there are disorders that become breeding grounds for tinnitus which you might have inherited.

If you have a history of tinnitus in your family, it’s really in your best interest to schedule 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. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.