Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, does not appear to be a highly inherited condition (i.e., does not pass frequently from parents to offspring), according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
“Tinnitus, or the perception of sound without an external acoustic stimulus, is a common but poorly understood symptom,” the authors write as background information in the article. “Although the list of factors associated with tinnitus is long, the causes of tinnitus onset and tinnitus maintenance are far from fully understood, and attempts to develop evidence-based therapies have been thwarted by a poor understanding of the pathophysiology of the condition.” Tinnitus has recently been reported to cluster in families, but little is known about the importance of genetic effects in susceptibility to the condition.
Ellen Kvestad, M.D., Ph.D., of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, and Akershus University Hospital, Akershus, Norway, and colleagues analyzed data collected from 12,940 spouses, 27,607 parents and offspring and 11,498 siblings. All participants completed a questionnaire about tinnitus and underwent a hearing examination. A subgroup of 16,186 individuals with some hearing loss and 17,785 controls were sent a second questionnaire requesting more details about tinnitus, to which a total of 28,066 responded.
About 20.9 percent of the participants reported having definite or probable symptoms of tinnitus. On a scale of negative one to one—where negative one would indicate that offspring always had tinnitus if their parents did not, and one would indicate that both parents and offspring always had tinnitus—correlations for tinnitus ranged from 0.01 to 0.07 for parents and offspring, depending on [Bleep] differences. The correlation between siblings ranged from 0.06 to 0.14 and the spouse correlation was 0.04.
Although the data did not distinguish between types of tinnitus—some of which may be more heritable than others—the low overall correlation does not indicate that any prevalent type of tinnitus is largely passed down through families …
Despite the lack of people reporting this symptom during Z-pack trials, I suspect mine was brought on by two back to back courses of Azithromycin. Tinnitus is listed as a side effect of Azithromycin. You are supposed to tell your doctor if you get this symptom, but there is not a thing they can do about it. I was told by several different specialists that auditory never damage is simply not reversible.
Special Senses: Hearing disturbances including hearing loss, deafness and/or tinnitus and reports of taste/smell perversion and/or loss.