A Chinese woman, only identified as Chen, suffers from a hearing problem – she can only hear the higher frequency tones of female voices, and is completely unable to hear male voices.
When the story first hit social media, some users joked that Chen might be the luckiest woman alive.
Doctors have diagnosed Chen with “low-frequency hearing loss”, which means she can’t hear male voices, which typically have a lower frequency.
What makes Chen’s case strange is that her hearing loss wasn’t gradual. She woke up one morning in her home in Xiamen, on China’s southeast coast, and realised she couldn’t hear her boyfriend when he spoke.
She’d felt nauseous the previous evening and had experienced a ringing in her ears. She’d been working long hours and not getting enough sleep in the preceding months, so she put her symptoms down to that and went to bed.
But when she woke up in the morning to find she couldn’t hear her boyfriend’s voice, she immediately went to the Qianpu Hospital, where she was able to hear the voice of the specialist – a woman.
“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,” said Dr Lin Xiaoqing, the specialist who treated Chen, the Daily Mail reports.
Experts suspect the condition is genetic. Only about one in 13 000 people with hearing problems suffer from it.
Dr Xiaoqing says the condition is curable if diagnosed early, and she expects Chen to make a full recovery.