The next morning, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Qianpu Hospital told Ms. Chen that she had a form of low-frequency hearing loss known as reverse-slope hearing loss.
Reverse-slope hearing loss caused a Chinese woman to only hear female voices. The patient was a man.
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.
Those with the condition typically have trouble hearing low-frequency sounds. According to Thigpen Hearing Center, many people with this condition don't even realize they have it.
What do you think about this odd form of hearing loss? It affects an estimated 3,000 people in the US and Canada - for every 12,000 people with hearing loss, only one individual has RSHL, the audiology clinic reported. "Doctors will call it hearing loss, I call it evolution", wrote one person on Twitter. Aka a difficulty in identifying high frequency. She expects Chen to experience a full recovery. 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.
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. The night before she was unable to hear her boyfriend's voice, Chen also said she felt nauseous and had ringing in her ears.
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