Alka Yagnik suffering from rare sensory nerve hearing loss

Alka Yagnik, seen here at her AB Studios is suffering from a sudden hearing loss. Photo: Rajiv Vijayakar

The most prolific and popular singer after the Mangeshkar sisters, Alka Yagnik, has revealed on her Instagram post that she is suffering from a rare hearing loss. The playback singer was diagnosed with this disorder apparently after a viral attack. The veteran singer shared the details of the condition on her profile and informed her fans why she has been missing in action for quite some time.

The post reads, “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. It has been diagnosed by my docs as a rare sensory neural nerve 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.

As I attempt to come to terms with it please keep me in your prayers. For my fans and young colleagues, I would add a word of caution regarding exposure to very loud music and headphones. 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. Your support and understanding will mean the world to me in this critical hour.”

While some medical authorities told the media that SNHL (Sensory Neural Hearing Loss) is a type of hearing loss resulting from damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve and that early detection is crucial for effective management and treatment, other authorities state that the probable causes include aging, prolonged exposure to loud noises, genetic predispositions, infections or certain medications.

All-India President’s Gold Medal-winning Delhi neurologist, Dr. Madhukar Bhardwaj, has however mentioned to Bombay Times that this kind of hearing loss in Alka Yagnik’s case has nothing to do with loud music as it is not gradual but sudden. This can have other causes or no particular cause.

For those who need to pay attention, the doctors have advised patients to look for warning signs like Indistinct sounds, Difficulty hearing conversations, Trouble hearing high-pitched sounds, Tinnitus or ringing in the ears, A feeling of fullness in the ear and Balancing problems. Early diagnosis and intervention can significantly improve quality of life and hearing health. Treatment options may include hearing aids, cochlear implants or other assistive listening devices.

Alka’s post has got a humongous response. Shreya Ghoshal, A.R. Rahman, Sonu Nigam, Shankar Mahadevan, Javed Ali, Ila Arun, Poonam Dhillon, Kavita Seth, Alisha Chinai and others are among those who have sent get-well wishes on her post.

Alka, who made her debut singing the raag-based Thirkat ang lachak jhuki jhumat (a few lines) in the 1979 Rajshri production, Payal Ki Jhankar under Rajkamal, first recorded Hum tum rahenge akele (with Amit Kumar) for Rajesh Roshan’s Hamari Bahu Alka (1982) and got her first tryst with fame singing Mere angne mein for mentors Kalyanji-Anandji in Laawaris (1981). Her final breakthrough happened as solo female singer in Anand-Milind’s Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and in Ek do teen char (as well as So gaya yeh jahaan) in Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s Tezaab (both 1988), and since then she ruled the playback world for more than 15 years. As of now, she was last heard (apart from singles) in the A.R. Rahman film, Amar Singh Chamkila.



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