Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Woman Suffers Rare Medical Condition Rendering her Unable to Hear Men's Voices

Woman Suffers Rare Medical Condition Rendering her Unable to Hear Men's Voices

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 recalled feeling nauseous the night before and having ringing in her ears.

A Chinese woman's rare health condition has reportedly rendered her unable to hear the voices of males - including her own boyfriend.

Ear, nose and throat specialist 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'.

Loss of hearing of lower-pitched sounds (which is what Chen experienced) is also less common because the bass-processing portion of the cochlea - a snail-shaped structure deep in the inner ear - is very well protected, said Jackie Clark, a clinical professor with the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, who also wasn't involved with Chen's case.

As for why Chen suffered the loss, Dr. Xiaoqing is unsure, but believes it was brought on by stress and long days of working.

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Chen reportedly said she has recently been under a lot of stress and not getting an adequate amount of sleep, which Xiaoqing said could have been a contributing factor.

Reverse-sloping hearing loss is a form of sensorineural hearing loss. 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. Because of the way it is shaped on an audiogram - a diagonal slope from the top left-hand corner to the bottom right-hand corner - it gets its name, ski-slope.

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

What is reverse-slope hearing loss (RSHL)?

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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