Blessing Or Curse? Woman With Rare Medical Condition Can't Hear Men's Voices

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(I'll have what she's having.)

Imagine waking up one day and finding out that you can’t hear men’s voices at all.

That’s exactly what happened to one Chinese woman, who woke up and realised that she couldn’t hear her boyfriend’s voice. She felt that something was wrong as early as the night before when she experienced ringing in her ears, as well as nausea and vomiting.

Blessing Or Curse? Woman With Rare Medical Condition Can't Hear Men's Voices

Image: Asiawire

The patient — identified only as Ms. Chen by Asiawire — hurried to the hospital to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Dr. Lin Xiaqing, who treated Ms. Chen, told Asiawire that the patient was able to hear the female ENT, but “when a young male patient walked in, she couldn’t hear him at all.”

This woman can’t hear men’s voices — what caused this?

It turns out that Ms. Chen had a kind of low-frequency hearing loss known as “reverse-slope hearing loss”. She could no longer hear sounds at a lower frequency, which includes the average male voice.

Blessing Or Curse? Woman With Rare Medical Condition Can't Hear Men's Voices

Image: Asiawire

Low-frequency hearing loss is a rare condition. High-frequency hearing loss, which causes people to struggle to hear voices of women and children, is much more common. Low-frequency hearing loss can be caused by genetics, but Ms. Chen’s doctor suspects that her hearing loss was caused by stress and fatigue. The patient had been under a lot of stress, working late hours and not getting enough sleep.

Even though not being able to hear men’s voices can sound like a dream (No more catcalling! No more mansplaining!), it can actually be quite dangerous. It can affect people’s abilities to hear things like oncoming cars.

Thankfully for Ms. Chen, her doctor said that she expects her to recover after getting some much-needed rest.

Why you gotta keep an eye on your stress levels

Hearing loss, while rare, is just one of the adverse effects of stress on your health. According to MayoClinic, stress could be affecting your health without you even realising it. You could be blaming illnesses for headaches, insomnia, or decreased productivity when stress is the real culprit.

Stress doesn’t just affect your physical health, but can also take a toll on your mental and emotional health. Stress can cause anxiety, irritability, and depression, among many others. If you feel yourself getting stressed, don’t ignore it and wait for it to get so bad that you can’t hear men’s voices anymore! Here are some things you can do to manage stress:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Practising relaxation and mindfulness techniques like meditation and yoga
  • Maintaining your social life
  • Dedicating some time to some stress-relieving hobbies, like painting or even just listening to music.
    • Look for active ways to manage stress, as inactive activities like playing video games and surfing the net might make your stress worse in the long term
  • Eat healthy
  • Get enough sleep

If you still feel stressed and overwhelmed even after taking these steps, you might want to consult a doctor to see if there are any underlying conditions causing your stress. Your doctor could also recommend other stress relief tools.

Think you need some rest and stress relief? These tools might be able to help: Best Free Meditation Apps For Millennials: 9 Essential Tools For Mindfulness And Stress Relief