Known only by her surname, "Chen" was rushed to hospital after waking up one morning and realising she couldn't hear her boyfriend talking to her.
According to reports, Chen had experience ringing in the ear and vomiting the night before and her doctors attributed it to stress and a lack of sleep.
Dr Lin Xiaoqing treated Chen and told local sources when she arrived at the hospital she could hear everything the female specialist said. Xiaoqing diagnosed Chen with reverse-slope hearing loss, a rare type of low-frequency hearing loss that likely impaired her ability to hear deep male voices.
Chen was subsequently diagnosed by an ear, nose and throat specialist with a condition called reverse-slope hearing loss, or RSHL.
As for why Chen suffered the loss, Dr. Xiaoqing is unsure, but believes it was brought on by stress and long days of working.
High-frequency hearing loss is much more common and generally means people struggle to, or can't hear the voices of women and children. 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. Autoimmune disorders that affect the inner ear - which are thought to occur in about 1 percent of the USA population - may also be a cause of RSHL, Clark said.
The good news is that when RSHL is detected quickly, chances are good that the hearing loss can be reversed, Kraskin said.
Those with the condition typically have trouble hearing low-frequency sounds.
Low frequency hearing loss can be very risky for people as it can affect their ability to hear things like the low hum of an oncoming vehicle. Less often, a shift in the pressure of ear fluid can trigger reverse-sloping hearing loss. By 2050, that figure is expected to hit over 900 million.
To clarify, the woman can only hear voices belonging to other women.
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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