Partially deaf Grammy nominee fights to restore hearing after sudden loss

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Grammy Award-nominated musician K.Flay is opening up to fans about her sudden brush with hearing loss.

Critics and fans have long praised K.Flay’s innovative songwriting and gifted lyricism. But Friday, the artist posted photos to Instagram while undergoing treatment for “[her] sudden sensorineural hearing loss.” Although she is more than halfway through treatment, she said there has been no improvement in the “unilateral deafness and tinnitus in [her] right ear.”

K.Flay first revealed in a September 8 Instagram post that she had recently woken up with no hearing in that ear. She also said she struggled with “severe dizziness.”

“[I]have been diagnosed with SSNHL (sudden sensorineural hearing loss) and labyrinthitis, which is basically when a virus gets into your ear canal and attacks the hair cells,” she wrote at the time.[D]actors don’t really know how or why it happens – it’s just one of those crazy things.”

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K.Flay sings during a performance in San Diego, California, on March 15, 2022. The artist has recently spoken out about sudden unexpected health issues.
Kayla DeLaura/Getty Images

In Friday’s post, K.Flay briefed fans on her health, saying she has “worked hard to accept and adapt to this new sensory experience of the world.”

Some days are better than others, K.Flay wrote. Sometimes she may wake up and ‘cry or scream a little.

“[A]and other mornings I listen to Harry Potter in my left ear and make coffee and feel very calm,” continued K.Flay. “I think the most unexpected challenge has been the impact of the hearing loss on my balance and orientation, which (such as walking or driving) are very difficult. I’m in physical therapy to work on that, and I’m getting a little better every day. I can now do a jumping jack :))))) my goal is to move freely by the end of October.”

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K.Flay’s debut album from 2014 Life like a dog peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart. She was nominated for two Grammys in 2018: “Best Rock Song” for her single “Blood in the Cut” and “Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical” for her LP Everywhere there is something.

The singer’s experience somewhat mirrors the storyline of the 2020 film The sound of metal. Starring Riz Ahmed, it is about a metal drummer whose world is turned upside down after he begins to lose his hearing.

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K.Flay’s latest post received a wave of support from fans and other musicians. Grammy Award-winning rapper Macklemore responded on Instagram with the message “Sending love,” alongside a red heart emoji.

Even though it was undoubtedly difficult for K.Flay to adapt, she is still trying to stay positive. Many others are also dealing with illness and change, she wrote in her post on Friday, and it’s important to always “remember you’re not alone.”

“[A]The legend says pema chödrön: ‘We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become more and more resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us. we always have this choice,” continued K.Flay. “LET’S BE GENTLE AND KIND TOGETHER OK???? OK. tgf dear.”

News week has contacted K.Flay for comment.

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