Know everything about sensorineural hearing loss, disorder diagnosed in singer Alka Yagnik

| Updated: 24 June, 2024 8:53 pm IST
Alka Yagnik

NEW DELHI: Renowned veteran singer Alka Yagnik recently revealed her diagnosis of a rare sensorineural hearing loss. She shared the news on her Instagram a few days ago, revealing that she suddenly felt she could not hear anything. “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,” Yagnik wrote.

“It has been diagnosed by my doctors as a rare sensorineural hearing loss due to a viral attack. This sudden, major setback has caught me completely unaware. As I attempt to come to terms with it, please keep me in your prayers,” she added.

 

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In light of this news, many are curious about sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). The New Indian Team discusses what one should know about this disorder with health experts Dr PN Renjen, Senior Consultant, Neurology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi, and Dr Neepa Vellimuttam, Consultant ENT, S. L. Raheja Hospital, Mahim – A Fortis Associate.

Read below to know the details shared by the experts:

Understanding Sensorineural Hearing Loss:

Dr. Renjen told The New Indian, “SNHL occurs when the inner ear or the nerve connecting the ear to the brain is damaged. In Alka Yagnik’s case, a viral attack is the cause.” He adds, “A hearing test and MRI can detect it. Sometimes, a tumour in the lower brain or a small clot can be the reason.”

Who is at risk?

Dr. Neepa said, “There are many reasons for sensorineural hearing loss. The most common is age-related, seen in the elderly due to the degeneration of hair cells within the inner ear. Other reasons include noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss, especially in people who use headphones at high volumes for long durations. It is also commonly seen in workers employed in high-noise areas such as airline ground areas, military, and those involved in drilling work.”

Dr. Renjen adds that those with diabetes or hypertension are more susceptible to this disorder.

What happens to patients dealing with this disorder?

Dr. Neepa said, “Patients with sensorineural hearing loss develop reduced hearing, tinnitus, or buzzing noises in the ears. They are unable to hear low-volume or muffled sounds and face difficulty in conversing on the phone. They can’t hear properly in noisy environments. It becomes difficult to interpret speech, especially words with high frequency.”

 

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Treatment and prevention:

“Treatment varies based on the cause, Viral-induced SNHL can be treated with antibiotics and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Avoiding ototoxic drugs that are harmful to nerves is also crucial”, said Dr. Renjen

Dr Vellimuttam added, “Sudden SNHL can sometimes be reversed if treated promptly with steroids. Permanent cases may require hearing aids or cochlear implants.”

She emphasised the importance of prevention: “Avoid listening to loud music on headphones and take breaks if you work in noisy environments. Consult an ENT specialist immediately if you notice reduced hearing during a viral infection.”

Alka Yagnik’s diagnosis brings attention to the importance of ear health. As she is now on her recovery journey, her fans and the music community pray for a swift recovery.

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