Woman unable to hear male voices over rare medical condition

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

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

A woman in China suddenly developed an unusual condition that made her unable to hear male voices. That is just one in every 12,000 incidents of hearing loss.

She is able to only hear the voice of women, not men.

The ENT specialist at Qianpu Hospital and female doctor, Dr. Lin Xiaoqing, said: "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".

What is reverse-slope hearing loss (RSHL)? Other women joked on Twitter that they would possibly like to take a break from hearing men's voices, too.

She recalled feeling nauseous the night before and having ringing in her ears. But in Chen's case the problem soon became obvious. Sufferers may have symptoms like finding it hard to understand people on the phone, due to the lower frequency, and being unable to hear things like the hum of a refrigerator.

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The extremely unusual condition, which reportedly affects only about 3,000 people in the U.S. and Canada, causes patients to lose their ability to hear low-frequency sounds, including average male voices.

Causes of the sudden onset of RSHL can include blood vessel problems or trauma, Clark told Live Science. A change in the pressure of the fluid in the inner ear has also been known to be a trigger.

She's expected to make a full recovery. A range of factors can cause hearing loss, including hereditary diseases, infections, certain drugs, aging, and exposure to loud noises.

The good news is that when RSHL is detected quickly, chances are good that the hearing loss can be reversed, Kraskin said. Treatment can involve high doses of steroids, but sometimes the condition goes away without any treatment whatsoever, she added.

The doctors believe the condition - called reverse-slope hearing loss, or low-frequency hearing loss - was brought on by stress, as Ms Chen had been working late under stressful conditions and wasn't getting enough sleep before her hearing suddenly deteriorated.

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