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What is sensorineural hearing loss? The disorder singer Alka Yagnik is diagnosed with

Veteran playback singer Alka Yagnik revealed on Instagram that she had recently been diagnosed with a 'rare sensorineural nerve hearing loss' as a result of a 'viral attack'.

What is sensorineural hearing loss? The disorder singer Alka Yagnik is diagnosed with RKK
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First Published Jun 19, 2024, 11:21 AM IST

On Monday, June 17, veteran playback singer Alka Yagnik revealed on Instagram that she had recently been diagnosed with a 'rare sensorineural nerve hearing loss' as a result of a 'viral attack'. The singer explained and termed it a 'major setback' and stated that her health was why she had been 'missing in action'.

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What is sensorineural hearing loss?

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs due to damage or dysfunction of the inner ear (cochlea), the auditory nerve, or the brain pathways responsible for interpreting sound signals. It is one of the most common types of hearing loss and can range from mild to profound.

Causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Age-related changes (presbycusis): Gradual degeneration of the inner ear structures over time.

Noise exposure: Prolonged exposure to loud noises can damage the hair cells in the cochlea.

Illnesses and infections: Certain illnesses like meningitis or autoimmune diseases can affect the cochlea.

Genetic factors: Some forms of SNHL can be inherited.

Head trauma: Injury to the head can damage the inner ear or auditory nerve.

Medications: Certain medications (ototoxic drugs) can damage the cochlea or auditory nerve.

Characteristics of Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sound quality: Speech may sound unclear or muffled.

Speech understanding: Difficulty understanding speech, especially in noisy environments.

Loudness perception: Difficulty hearing soft sounds, even with amplification.

Tinnitus: Ringing, buzzing, or hissing sounds in the ears may accompany SNHL.

Balance: In some cases, SNHL can affect balance due to the inner ear's role in balance control.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis typically involves a comprehensive hearing evaluation by an audiologist. Treatment options depend on the severity and underlying cause.

Hearing aids: Amplify sounds to compensate for the hearing loss.

Cochlear implants: For severe to profound SNHL where hearing aids are not effective.

Assistive listening devices: Such as FM systems or captioned telephones.

Management of underlying conditions: Addressing any medical conditions contributing to SNHL.

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