Imagine this: One day, you wake up to discover that you can no longer hear half of the world’s population. Specifically, most of the men you know. It might sound like the premise of a movie, but one woman in China developed a rare form of hearing loss, and as a result, she can’t hear men. The Daily Mail reports that the woman, identified by her last name, Chen, woke up one morning unable to hear her boyfriend’s voice. She rushed to the hospital, where an ear, nose, and throat specialist diagnosed her with “reverse-slope hearing loss”—meaning that she can’t hear low-frequency sounds.
According to the Thigpen Hearing Center, reverse-slope hearing loss is extremely rare, with only about 3,000 people in the U.S. and Canada combined affected. High-frequency hearing loss, which would make it more difficult to hear women and children, is far more common. The cause of Chen’s condition isn’t clear, but Xiaoqing theorized that fatigue and stress are at least partially to blame. The Thigpen Hearing Center notes that multiple factors, including genetics and illness, can contribute to this particular condition. Thankfully, Chen will likely make a full recovery.
As you might expect, many on Twitter were quick to make jokes about the situation.
Others pointed out that hearing loss is no laughing matter.
We’re wishing Chen a full and speedy recovery.