Bizarre Ear Condition Makes Woman Unable to Hear Men's Voices

The diagnosis was a type of hearing loss which means she can't hear lower frequencies

She knew something wasn't quite right when she woke up one morning to find she couldn't hear a word her boyfriend was saying.

The patient identified as Chen, from the city Xiamen, on the east coast of China, told the doctors that she woke up one day to find she was unable to hear her voices of men, including her boyfriend.

She is said to have been suffering from nausea and ringing in her ears the evening before.

Dr Lin Xiaoqing treated Chen and told local sources when she arrived at the hospital she could hear everything the female specialist said.

It was eventually established that Chen has reverse-slope hearing loss, meaning she is unable to hear the sound of lower frequencies, namely, men's voices.

High-frequency hearing loss is much more common and generally means people struggle to, or can't hear the voices of women and children.

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"She was able to hear me when I spoke to her, but when a young male patient walked in, she couldn't hear him at all", Dr. Xiaoqing says in a story with the Daily Mail. Less often, a shift in the pressure of ear fluid can trigger reverse-sloping hearing loss. The term describes the shape of a hearing test audiogram of those who can't hear low frequencies.

Only around 3,000 people in north America are affected by the rare condition.

The ENT specialist revealed it is important to treat such symptoms quickly, adding that she expects Chen to make a full recovery. It's not just male voices they struggle with but any particularly low sound, including voices over the phone, the hum of a auto, and thunder.

This kind of low frequency hearing loss is said to be caused by a number of different things such as Wolfram Syndrome 1, Meniere's disease, Mondini dysplasi and sudden hearing loss.

Low frequency hearing loss can be very risky for people as it can affect their ability to hear things like the low hum of an oncoming vehicle.

It has been linked to genetics and can be triggered by certain diseases (for example, Ménière's disease) and viral infections.

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