Thursday, 24 January, 2019

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

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Samantha Long | 11 January, 2019, 20:58

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.

A woman in China went to bed one night and woke up the next morning unable to hear her boyfriend's voice. It's so rare that only one in almost 13,000 patients with hearing issues are affected. "She was able to hear me when I spoke to her", says ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Lin Xiaoqing, "but when a young male patient walked in, she couldn't hear him at all".

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

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.

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

Woman trying to hear
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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.

As well as struggling to hear low-frequency voices, those with the condition can find it tough to make out voices on the phone, as well as noises like the hum of the fridge or thunder. This can put them in danger, as they may not hear low noises like oncoming cars. Less often, a shift in the pressure of ear fluid can trigger reverse-sloping hearing loss.

According to the World Health Organization, some 466 million people across the world are affected by some form of disabling hearing loss.

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

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

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