Woman Can't Hear Men's Voices Because Of Rare Condition

Desiree Burns
January 11, 2019

The woman, only publically identified as Ms. Chen, first noticed an issue with her hearing when she woke up one morning and was no longer able to understand her boyfriend's voice, the DailyMail Online reports.

To clarify, the woman can only hear voices belonging to other women.

In a weird situation, a Chinese woman has been diagnosed with a type of hearing loss in which she is unable to hear the voices of men and can only higher frequency tones of other females.

At the hospital, Chen was treated by Dr. Lin Xiaoqing - a woman - who noted that while Chen was able to hear Xiaoqing's voice, she couldn't hear the voice of a nearby male patient "at all", according to Newsweek. The patient was a man.

Xiaoqing diagnosed Chen with "low-frequency hearing loss", a rare condition that cuts off deeper, lower-frequency sounds.

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Any damage to the cells can impact a person's hearing because the hair cells make the sound travel from the outer ear to the brain. And while that might seem enviable to some, the hearing loss could carry serious medical repercussions.

Instead, the vast majority of people who have some type of hearing loss have what is called ski-slope hearing loss.

The site says an estimated 3,000 people in the USA are affected - so just one out of every 12,000 cases of hearing loss. That can include the voices of women and children, which tend to be higher pitched than male voices. Before she went to bed one evening, she experienced nausea and a ringing in her ears.

Reverse-slope hearing loss can occur due to a lack of sleep or physical stress which Dr Xiaoqing believes is the case, but can also be due to genetics. It can also be caused by changes in the pressure of the fluid in the inner ear, endolymph, which itself can be the result of spinal or general anesthesia, intracranial hypertension, and a perilymphatic fistula. A range of factors can cause hearing loss, including hereditary diseases, infections, certain drugs, aging, and exposure to loud noises. She expects Chen to experience a full recovery.

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