A woman in China made the headlines after waking up one morning and she noticed that she was suddenly unable to hear the male voices. The strange problem became evident when she realized that she could not hear her boyfriend talking.
Although weird, a female doctor from Qianpu Hospital examined the patient – identified only by her surname Chen – and seemed to have understood it.
"She could hear me when I talked to her, but when a young patient came in she could not hear her any more" m said Dr. Lin Xiaoqing, a specialist in the ears, nose and throat at the hospital.
She diagnosed Chen with a rare condition called inverted-slope hearing loss. People affected by this situation usually have no problem hearing high frequency sounds such as women's and children's voices.
But they have trouble hearing low frequencies – like male voices that tend to be deep most often. They may also have difficulty hearing vehicle noises, thunder, telephone voices, buzzing refrigerators, and so on.
RSHL is very rare, which you may have guessed from the unusual title. It is estimated that this disease has affected approximately 3,000 people in the United States and Canada, which would mean a single case of RSHL for 12,000 cases of hearing loss.
Genetics could play a role since RSHL could be inherited by a dominant gene. Certain diseases and infections, especially severe during childhood, have been suspected of triggering hearing loss. Changing the pressure of a fluid in the inner ear has also been identified as a possible cause.
However, in some cases, hearing loss has been linked to lack of sleep or high levels of physical stress. Dr. Xiaoqing thinks it's probably what happened to Chen who admitted that she was working very long hours and was not taking enough care of herself.
The night before the onset of her hearing loss, she presented with symptoms such as a ringing in the ears and nausea. Chen is currently receiving treatment and should recover fully.
If you think you have a similar hearing problem, you can consult an audiologist who will perform a series of tests. While this can greatly enhance your listening experience with music, security is the main reason why you should not skip diagnosis and treatment.
"A big part of what you lose with RSHL is the environmental sound" Audiology intends declared. "If you can not hear a car coming in, you can not avoid it, and if someone away from you tries to warn you, you may not hear it because volume is a product of low frequencies."