Alka Yagnik diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss: Know all about the condition

Indian playback singer Alka Yagnik, who has had a glorious career of over three decades, has been diagnosed with a rare sensory hearing loss called sudden sensorineural hearing loss. The singer revealed her diagnosis via social media, explaining why she has been missing in action of late. This rare sensory condition leads to hearing loss in varying degrees, and Alka Yagnik is hopeful she will tide over these tough times.

Alka Yagnik suffers sensorineural hearing loss

Alka Yagnik, known for her versatile singing and rich discography in Bollywood, took to Instagram on Monday to share a health update with her fans. She wrote, “To all my fans, friends, followers and well-wishers. A few weeks ago, as I walked out of a flight, I suddenly felt I was not able to hear anything. Having mustered some courage in the weeks following the episode, I want to break my silence now for all my friends and well-wishers who have been asking me why I’m missing in action.”

Her doctors diagnosed the condition as a rare sensory neural nerve hearing loss, caused due to a viral attack. Calling it a “major setback”, Alka Yagnik further wrote, “As I attempt to come to terms with it, please keep me in your prayers.”

The 58-year-old veteran singer also added a word of caution for her fans and young colleagues, “regarding exposure to very loud music and headphones”. While she hopes to share the health perils of her professional life one day, she is currently focusing on recalibrating her life and return to work soon. “Your support and understanding will mean the world to me in this critical hour,” concluded the singer, drawing messages of love from industry bigwigs and fans alike.

Check out the Instagram post here!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Alka Yagnik (@therealalkayagnik)

What is Sensorineural Hearing Loss?

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Sensorineural Hearing Loss happens when the inner ear is damaged. Damaged nerve pathways connecting the inner ear to the brain can also cause this condition. “The most common symptoms are the loss of hearing. Other things are tinnitus or noises in the ear, vertigo, vomiting, headache, weakness, body ache,” explains ENT doctor Dr Swapnil Brajpuria.

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss occurs over 72 hours, as per the National Institutes of Health. Explaining the causes of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, Dr Brajpuria explains, “It occurs in infections – viral, fungal and other sort of infections. Other conditions such as trauma, chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, liver and kidney diseases, certain vascular conditions…There are many neurological and neuroplasticity conditions in which this sudden loss in hearing may occur.”

He also warns that people suffering from respiratory infections or throat infections should avoid taking flights or going to hilly regions. “In low air pressure conditions, throat and nose infections may go into the ear, which may aggravate your chances of this condition,” he says.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss Treatment

When it comes to treatments, early treatment within a week, is the best, states a study conducted by the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Supporting this, Dr Brajpuria says, “As soon as we start the treatment, the chances of recovery are well. If we delay, the chances of recovery are very low.”

The treatment typically includes bed rest, antimicrobial agents, antiviral agents, steroids in the form of injections like intratympanic injections, intravenous injections or oral steroids. “We have to give anti-inflammatory injections and neurotonics. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can also be given to treat this condition,” explains Dr Brajpuria. As far as recovery goes, 85 per cent of people report at least a partial recovery, states the Hearing Loss Association of America.

Can sudden sudden sensorineural hearing loss be prevented?

Unfortunately, this hearing disorder cannot be prevented. “We have to treat the primary conditions like diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and hyperthyroidism, to prevent this condition. We have to take strict control over the liver and kidney functions,” says Dr Brajpuria.

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