Alka Yagnik diagnosed with sensorineural deafness: Know the causes, symptoms, treatment for the rare condition - Hindustan Times

Alka Yagnik diagnosed with sensorineural deafness: Know the causes, symptoms, treatment for the rare condition

ByAalokitaa Basu
Jun 18, 2024 06:25 PM IST

Alka Yagnik's rare sensory neural nerve hearing loss diagnosis has left millions of her fans saddened. What exactly is the condition she is suffering from?

On June 18, Alka Yagnik, 58, took to her Instagram handle to come out in the open about a personal ordeal she had been silently dealing with so far. The veteran singer who has lent her voice to some of Indian cinema's foremost songs such as Mohra's Tip Tip Barsa Paani, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak's Ae Mere Humsafar, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam's Chaand Chupa Baadal Mein and Tamasha's Agar Tum Saath Ho, to name a few, is currently grappling with a sensorineural deafness diagnosis. Alka shared how following a seemingly innocuous flight ride she suddenly realised she was unable to hear anything. As she revealed the news of her diagnosis, she asked her fans to keep her in their prayers. Here's everything you need to know about the rare condition.

Alka Yagnik has been diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss
Alka Yagnik has been diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss

What is sensorineural deafness?

As per a Healthline report, sensorineural nearing loss (SNHL) or deafness, depending on the intensity of the diagnosis, occurs as a result of damage to one's inner ear structures or auditory nerve. The report elaborates how the cochlea carries tiny hairs called stereocilia, responsible for converting vibrations from sound waves to neural signals which are then transmitted to the brain via the auditory nerve. These hairs become rather fragile when exposed to sounds louder than 85 decibels and may even be damaged. The effects of this however, cannot quite be felt till about 30 per-cent to 50 per-cent of the hairs stand damaged. The hearing loss as a result of this diagnosis may be mild, moderate or severe depending on the trigger event(s).

What are the causes?

The Healthline report elaborates that SNHL can impact one or both ears. The onset can be sudden or gradual. The report adds that the first effects of sudden SNHL usually hits one as soon as they wake up. Infections, head trauma, autoimmune disease, Meniere’s disease, circulation problems as well as the side effects of certain drugs can result in SNHL. In some rare cases, one may be born with the condition. Additionally, SNHL can also be triggered by genetic factors as well as ageing.

How to identify a potential case of sensorineural deafness?

The report additionally outlines a comprehensive list of symptoms to look out for. Trouble hearing sounds amid background noise, difficulty understanding high-pitched voices or hearing high-pitched sounds, trouble balancing or experiencing dizziness and a ringing sensation in one's ears are signs not to be taken lightly. SNHL is also typically characterised by being able to hear voices but being unable to exactly make out what they are saying.

Is the condition reversible?

The Healthline report adds that in the event that the SNHL has been triggered by age-related factors or genetic conditions, symptoms tend to progressively worsen over time. However, if the trigger is instead a loud noise or environmental factors, the symptoms have a chance of plateauing.

Can you prevent falling prey to a diagnosis?

Gradual hearing loss is part and parcel of ageing. However, it does not have to be unavoidable. The first step to take in this regard is to consciously safeguard your ears. The Healthline report outlines how one must keep their headphone volume under 60 per-cent, opt to wear earplugs around loud noises and get periodic hearing tests. Considering how the onset of SNHL can also be triggered by certain medicines, consulting a doctor before starting new medication is strongly advisable.

Music industry rushes to comfort Alka Yagnik

The news of Alka's daignosis for obvious reasons, came as a shock to the music industry. Singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan wrote, "Praying for your speedy recovery Alkaji !! You are going to be absolutely ok and rocking as usual ! Loads of love and best wishes ❤️❤️". Playback singer and music director Sonu Nigam commented, "I knew something was not right.. I'll see you when I get back..God speed your recovery". Ila Arun, who collaborated with Alka on iconic hit Choli Ke Peeche, wrote, "So sorry to hear this 😢 Dearest Alka I saw your picture and reacted, but the I read , it’s heartbreaking 💔 , But WithBlessings . And today’s Best Doctors you will be fine and soon we will be hearing your sweet voice Love 🥰 you always take care".

Akriti Kakkar added, "You are our tigress and our RANI ❤️ The only way forward is your recovery which will happen sooner than we can imagine 😍. We love you endlessly and are praying and cheering for you alkaji 🤗"

We wish the veteran singer a speedy recovery.

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