Is My Tinnitus Inherited?

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

Are you going crazy with that tinnitus in your ears? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you might have inherited it.

Tinnitus, what exactly is it?

Tinnitus is the term describing a person’s perception of a ringing, droning, or buzzing in the ear with no external stimulus present to explain this sensation. The direct translation of the term tinnitus is”ringing like a bell”.”

How will my daily living be impacted by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in many annoying ways. It’s usually a sign that you have damaged hearing or some root health condition and not a disease in and of itself. Your ability to stay focused can be significantly interrupted when you begin to hear tinnitus in one or both ears.

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. Lengthy exposure to loud noise, like a rock concert, is usually the cause of temporary tinnitus. Tinnitus has been documented to manifest with a few different medical conditions.

A few of the circumstances that could play host to tinnitus include:

  • A benign tumor, called acoustic neuroma, forms on cranial nerve
  • Several medications
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to conduct sound, causing arbitrary transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Accumulation of excessive earwax
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Inner ear infections
  • Extended exposure to loud noise
  • Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding caused by temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
  • Hearing loss associated with aging
  • Changes in the composition of the ear bone
  • Head or neck traumas
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear

Is it possible that my parents could have passed down the ringing in my ears?

Generally, tinnitus isn’t an inherited condition. But the symptoms can be affected by your genetics. For example, ear bone changes that can lead to tinnitus can be passed down. Abnormal bone growth can trigger these changes and can be passed down through genes. A few of the other conditions that can produce ringing in the ear could be inherited from your parents, including:

  • Predisposition to anxiety or depression
  • Certain diseases
  • 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 may have inherited.

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. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.


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