Doctor Lin believes fatigue and the added stress of long days may have contributed to the condition, which caused a loss of sensitivity to deeper sounds, and which only allowed her to hear sharper, higher-frequency sounds - such as the voices of women. And while that might seem enviable to some, the hearing loss could carry serious medical repercussions.
Known only by her surname, "Chen" was rushed to hospital after waking up one morning and realising she couldn't hear her boyfriend talking to her.
"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 (RSHL) gets its name from the shape it produces in visualizations of hearing tests - a slope that is a mirror image of the incline produced by high-frequency hearing loss, according to audiology clinic Audiology HEARS, P.C. Again according to Thigpen Hearing Center, roughly 3,000 people in the United States and Canada have the condition.
Hong Kong doctors have officially ruled that her loss of hearing is from "low-frequency hearing loss". "The graph starts in the lower-left-hand corner and slopes upward steeply", Audiology Hears writes.
Causes of the sudden onset of RSHL can include blood vessel problems or trauma, Clark told Live Science.
The extremely unusual condition, which reportedly affects only about 3,000 people in the U.S. and Canada, causes patients to lose their ability to hear low-frequency sounds, including average male voices.
Luckily, because doctors treated her condition quickly, Ms. Chen is expected to make a full recovery. She expects this will be the case for Chen, meaning her reprieve from the male voice may be short lived. Treatment can involve high doses of steroids, but sometimes the condition goes away without any treatment whatsoever, she added.
Newsweek explains: "Genetic condition including Mondini dysplasia-where the cochlea is incomplete-can cause reverse-sloping hearing loss, as well as diseases which affect the hair cells in the inner ear, like Ménière's".