Alka Yagnik Diagnosed with Rare Sensory Hearing Loss

Alka Yagnik described the experience as catching her "completely unaware."
Alka Yagnik (Wikimedia Commons)
Alka Yagnik (Wikimedia Commons)

Veteran playback singer Alka Yagnik has been diagnosed with a rare form of sensory hearing loss. The singer revealed the news on Instagram, explaining why she has been missing from the limelight for so many days.

Alka Yagnik, known for her melodious voice that defined Bollywood in the 90s, has been known in her career for adapting her singing style to suit different composers and actors. She shared that she experienced a sudden loss of hearing after stepping off a flight a few weeks ago. She wrote, "I suddenly felt I was not able to hear anything.” Doctors diagnosed her with a rare sensorineural nerve hearing loss caused by a viral attack.

This unexpected health issue has been a major setback for the singer, who is still trying to come to terms with it. Alka Yagnik described the experience as catching her "completely unaware."

In her Instagram post, Alka Yagnik addressed her fans, friends, followers, and well-wishers, asking for their support and understanding during this difficult time. She also requested that people keep her in their prayers, as she hopes to recalibrate and return to normal soon.

Alka Yagnik also used the opportunity to caution her fans, especially the younger generation, about the dangers of exposure to loud music and headphones. She urged them to be mindful of the volume and protect their hearing.

"For my fans and young colleagues, I would add a word of caution regarding exposure to very loud music and headphones," she wrote. "One day, I wish to share the health perils of my professional life. With all your love and support, I am hoping to recalibrate my life and come back to you soon."

Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL):

Sensorineural hearing loss is a type of hearing loss resulting from damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. This damage prevents the brain from properly receiving sound signals.

Causes:

This type of hearing loss can vary from mild to severe and may affect one or both ears. Causes may include:

  • Aging: Natural degradation of hearing over time.

  • Noise Exposure: Extended exposure to environments that are loud.

  • Viral Infections: Such as measles, mumps, or herpes.

  • Genetic Factors: Hereditary hearing loss.

  • Ototoxic Medications: Certain drugs that can damage the inner ear.

  • Head Trauma: Injury to the ear or head.

  • Diseases: Conditions like Meniere's disease.

Symptoms:

Symptoms often include:

  • Difficulty understanding speech.

  • Muffled or distorted sounds.

  • Ringing (tinnitus) in the ears.

  • Trouble hearing high-pitched sounds.

  • Issues with balance.

Treatment:

Despite the challenges, there are treatment options available. High-dose corticosteroids are often used to reduce inflammation and swelling in the inner ear. For those with significant, permanent hearing loss, hearing aids or cochlear implants can help.

  • Medications: To treat underlying causes if identified.

  • Hearing Aids: To amplify sound.

  • Cochlear Implants: In severe circumstances where hearing aids are completely ineffective

  • Therapy: Rehabilitation and support services.

Dr. Manohar Shaan, Head of the ENT Department at Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, highlighted that viral infections could lead to such hearing loss through mechanisms like direct cochlear invasion, immune-mediated damage, or disrupted blood supply to the inner ear.

Alka Yagnik Yagnik's last Instagram post was on Mother's Day in May 2024. In her recent post, she emphasized the need for early diagnosis and treatment to prevent long-term auditory damage. She thanked her fans for their continuous support and love, which she hopes will help her navigate through this challenging phase.

References:

  1. Baguley, D., McFerran, D., & Hall, D. (2013). Tinnitus. The Lancet, 382(9904), 1600–1607. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60142-7

  2. Cohen, B. E., Durstenfeld, A., & Roehm, P. C. (2014). Viral causes of hearing loss: A review for hearing health professionals. Trends in Hearing, 18, 233121651454136. https://doi.org/10.1177/2331216514541361

  3. Cunningham, L. L., & Tucci, D. L. (2017). Hearing loss in adults. New England Journal of Medicine, 377(25), 2465–2473. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMra1616601

(Input from various sources)

(Rehash/ Susmita Bhandary/MSM)

Alka Yagnik (Wikimedia Commons)
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