Woman unable to hear men's voices due to rare condition, report says

Woman Can't Hear Her Boyfriend's Voice Because Of A Rare Condition. Credit AsiaWire

That is what happened to a woman called Chen from Xiamen, a port city on the southeast coast of China, according to The Daily Mail.

The Daily Mail reports that one night, Chen went to bed after feeling nauseated and experiencing ringing in her ears. 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 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".

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

Doctors believe that Ms. Chen's particular condition may have been brought on by stress and a severe lack of sleep.

The ear, nose and throat specialist said that she expected Ms Chen to make a full recovery.

Anyone who suffers from low frequency hearing loss, generally, can't hear noises that have a frequency of 2,000 Hz or below. Autoimmune disorders that affect the inner ear - which are thought to occur in about 1 percent of the US population - may also be a cause of RSHL, Clark said. In reverse-sloping hearing loss, the shape of the audiogram runs in the opposite direction. The symptoms of RSHL include difficulty understanding speech on the phone, understanding the voises of women and children but not men, and inability to hear low-frequency environmental sounds.

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

Although there are a number of causes of reverse-slope hearing losses, the most common causes are genetic abnormalities, Wolfram syndrome and Mondini dysplasia.

To clarify, the woman can only hear voices belonging to other women. Sudden hearing loss, Ménière's disease and viral infection are also identified as causes of RSHL. This can be caused by general anesthetic, a perilymphatic fistula (an abnormal opening in the ear), and intracranial hypertension, caused by pressure in the central nervous system.

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