Picture of woman holding ear in painYou’re walking down the sidewalk when you bump into an old friend you haven’t seen in years. The two of you embrace and begin enthusiastically chatting about your lives, your loves, your jobs, your families. When it starts.

You’re watching your friend’s mouth move, but you aren’t able to hear a word. The buzzing. The whirring. The droning. The ringing. The sense of being trapped in a Coco Cola can after someone’s shaken it up.

You’re completely distracted and can’t enjoy another minute of this wonderful opportunity to reconnect with a dear friend.

Let’s take a look at what the ringing in your ears may mean and whether or not you might have inherited it from your parents.

What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the term referring to a person’ perception of a ringing, droning or buzzing in the ear with no external stimulus present to explain this sensation. The word tinnitus literally translates to “ringing like a bell.”

How Does Tinnitus Affect My Everyday Life?

Tinnitus can be annoying and can interrupt intimate interaction as outlined above. It’s not a disease in and of itself, but it’s a symptom of other conditions or circumstances in your life.

What Are The Causes of Tinnitus?

There can be temporary or consistent cases of tinnitus. The fleeting types of tinnitus are usually triggered by prolonged exposure to loud noises, such as a rock concert. Tinnitus has been known to co-occur with a few different medical conditions. A few of the conditions that may play host to tinnitus include:

  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the fragile hairs used to conduct sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Inner ear infections
  • Injuries that affect nerves of the ear
  • Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding stemming from temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ disorder
  • Age-related hearing impairment
  • Prolonged exposure to loud noise
  • Excessive earwax build-up
  • Changes in the composition of the ear bone
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor forms on the cranial nerve running from the brain to the inner ear
  • Different medications
  • Depression or anxiety

Is It Possible That I Inherited This Ringing In My Ears From My Mom and Dad?

Tinnitus isn’t directly hereditary. However, your genes can play a role in this symptom. For instance, ear bone changes that can lead to tinnitus can be inherited. These changes are caused by abnormal bone growth that can pass down family lines. Some of the other conditions that can lead to ringing of the ear may be inherited from your parents, including:

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

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.

Keeping Your Ears Healthy

You care about your hearing, and you want to do what’s best for your body. For further information on auditory health and how you can maintain your ear health, check us out.