Rare Ear Condition Makes Woman Unable to Hear Men’s VoicesAudiology by Accent
A woman who lives in China was recently diagnosed with a type of hearing loss that is called reverse-slope hearing loss. The woman awakened and was unable to hear her boyfriend’s voice, which prompted her to see a specialist. This condition is named after the appearance of the slope on audiology exams and refers to a hearing loss in which people are unable to hear sounds of lower frequencies.
Reverse-slope hearing loss is very rare and affects an estimated 3,000 people in the U.S. It can be caused by a number of different underlying conditions, including a genetic condition called Mondini dysplasia, Meniere’s disease, shifts in the pressure of the ear fluid that can result from general anesthesia, a perilymphatic fistula, and intracranial hypertension.
In the woman’s case, doctors believe that her condition was caused by stress and inadequate sleep. The doctors stated that in the time leading up to her hearing loss, she was working late and not getting sufficient sleep. They stated that she should fully recover with adequate rest.
When the condition is caused by a genetic condition like Mondini dysplasia, which is an abnormally formed cochlea, or a perilymphatic fistula, which is a hole in the ear, surgical intervention may be needed.
There is also a related ear condition called high-frequency hearing loss. People who suffer from this condition are unable to hear higher-frequency sounds such as children’s or women’s voices.
While these conditions are rare, hearing loss itself is not. The World Health Organization reports that 466 million people worldwide suffer from a type of hearing loss, and that number is expected to reach 900 million by 2050.
If you have suffered a hearing loss, it is a good idea to see an audiologist. An audiologist can perform testing to identify the type of hearing loss that you might have as well as its underlying causes. They may then make recommendations to help you to regain your hearing or to amplify sounds so that you can hear well again.