Genetic Component to Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Dr. Stephen Nagler (MD)' started by HalloweenScreamQueen, Apr 1, 2015.

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    1. HalloweenScreamQueen

      HalloweenScreamQueen Member

      Piketon, Ohio
      Tinnitus Since:
      I was about 12 YO
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Good morning Doctor Nagler! I've had T since puberty (which happened almost 40 years ago... sheesh, time flies when you're having fun) and recently found out that both my mother and my brother have it as well. I'm not sure how severe their T is or the onset as we haven't talked about it, but mine has been fairly constant over the years. Mine has no known cause - no acoustic trauma, no ototoxic drugs, etc. We all have severe allergies and asthma as well. My asthma is well controlled using Singulair. Allergies are (mostly) controlled using Zyrtec, Allegra, and lansoprasole. (And yes, for 4-6 months out of the year, I do take Zyrtec and Allegra concurrently.)

      Are you aware of any research that has been done or is being done concerning familial T? I'd be very interested to find out if there is a genetic component.

      Thanks for all of the great advice and guidance. I enjoy reading your responses. Cheers, Kelly.
    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician Benefactor

      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi Kelly -

      Thank you for bringing up such an interesting question.

      I am unaware of any reliable and verifiable studies that look into whether or not there is a genetic component to tinnitus. One problem in developing such studies is the fact the 94% of the normally hearing "non-tinnitus" population will experience tinnitus upon purposeful hard listening in a soundproof room, tinnitus they never ever knew they had before. Now that certainly isn't the tinnitus that brings you to this board, but it is tinnitus nonetheless. So in trying to do proper genetic studies, one must take into account not the mere existence of tinnitus, but rather in some form or fashion the degree of tinnitus. And that can present some serious challenges statistically.

      stephen nagler

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