Woman ‘Suffers’ From A Rare Medical Condition That Renders Her Unable To Hear Men’s Voices–And We Can See The Upside

A woman in China, identified only as Ms. Chen, recently developed a form of hearing loss that prevents her from hearing the voices of men. Reverse-slope hearing loss, also known as low-frequency hearing loss, prevents sufferers from hearing low-frequency tones such as men’s voices.

Chen reported ringing in her ears and nausea the night before she experienced the hearing loss, but she thought that a good night’s sleep would resolve them. The Daily Mail reported that Chen awoke the next morning to discover that she could no longer hear her boyfriend’s voice.

She rushed to nearby Qianpu Hospital for evaluation and was seen by ENT (an ear, nose, and throat specialist) Dr. Lin Xiaoqing. During the examination, Ms. Chen had no problem hearing Dr. Xiaoqing, who is a woman.

Dr. Xiaoqing said:

“She was able to hear me when I spoke to her, but when a young male patient walked in, she couldn’t hear him at all.”

Reverse-slope hearing loss affects a person’s ability to hear low-frequency sounds, such as the sound of an idling car, a running refrigerator, and most men’s voices. This is the opposite of typical hearing loss, in which people lose the ability to hear high-frequency sounds first.

As reverse-slope hearing loss is so rare, it can often be difficult to diagnose. Many doctors and patients are unaware that it exists.

Dr. Xiaoqing suspects that stress played a part in her condition, as Ms. Chen had recently been working long hours and not getting enough sleep. She expects Ms. Chen to make a full recovery, as it was caught and treated promptly.

While this will undoubtedly have a negative impact on her daily life, the news found many people largely envious.

Prachi Gupta, who covered the story for Jezebel, said:

“While wishing Chen a full recovery, in the meantime I hope that she can find some reprieve from listening to men and delight in her newfound ability to mute cat-callers, annoying co-workers, and asshole politicians.”

Twitter had plenty to say on the subject as well:


Some wanted to know how to go about making this their reality.

One Twitter user had a different perspective, though:


Others who have reverse-slope hearing loss weighed in on the issue.

It seems it may not be all bad, though.

While it would certainly be nice not to have to deal with catcallers and mansplainers, maybe one should consider the whole experience of hearing loss before expressing envy.