The doctor examined her and said Chen was able to hear her, but couldn't hear a male patient who spoke to her as well. Aside from being unable to hear the low-frequency voices of men, those suffering from the condition may not be able to hear things like cars driving by, which could put them in danger.
While Ms. Chen was able to hear every word a female ENT said during her appointment, she was unable to pick up on the voice of a young male patient at the hospital, Dr. Xiaoqing said.
A specialist diagnosed her with reverse-slope hearing loss, in which she could only hear high frequencies.
The Daily Mail reports that Ms. Chen suddenly experienced symptoms overnight. She thought after a night's sleep she will be fine and hence went to sleep with her boyfriend.
It wasn't long before Chen was diagnosed with an auditory condition called reverse-slope hearing loss (or RSHL), which refers to the patient's inability to hear low frequencies.
Imagine having a legitimate reason for not hearing your partner say, "Tonight, you're on dishes".
As well as struggling to hear low-frequency voices, those with the condition can find it hard to hear voices on the phone properly, as well as low noises like the hum of the fridge or thunder. The condition is hard to diagnose because both doctors and patients may not know the cause.
While the condition may be caused by genetics, stress can also play a role.
The site says an estimated 3,000 people in the USA are affected - so just one out of every 12,000 cases of hearing loss. In Chen's case, Dr. Xiaoqing believes that the fatigue and stress brought on by her long work hours may have triggered the problem.
Luckily, because doctors treated her condition quickly, Ms. Chen is expected to make a full recovery.
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