What if you couldn’t hear what men say? You may think that all you will miss will be just some “sup bro’s” and cheesy pick-up lines such ““if you were a transformer you’d be Optimus Fine.” But that’s not all that you may be missing, especially if you have a real medical condition.
That’s what happened to a woman in Xiamen, China, who woke up one day unable to hear her boyfriend, according to Vanessa Chalmers writing for The Daily Mail. But her boyfriend didn’t need to take it personally. She wasn’t able to hear other men’s voices as well.
Apparently, the woman had something called reverse slope hearing loss. It’s called reverse-slope because of the shape that results on an audiogram. An audiogram is a graph of your ability to hear sounds of increasing frequency or pitch, going left to right on the graph.
On average, male voices tend to be of lower frequency but certainly aren’t the only sounds that are low-pitch. Other examples of lower-frequency sounds are the bloop-bloop of tuba, a low moan, a rumbling fart reverberating in baggy pants, or James Earl Jones singing Love Me Tender. Examples of higher-frequency sounds are a whistle, air leaking through a small hole, and anything sung by the BeeGees.
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The most common type of hearing loss is when you lose the ability to hear higher-frequency sounds. Thus, an audiogram looks like a downward ski-slope, dropping as you move to the right with higher and higher pitches. That’s why higher-frequency hearing loss is also considered ski-slope hearing loss or simply sloping loss.
When, the opposite occurs and you lose the ability to hear lower-pitch sounds, the audiogram looks like something you couldn’t ski down, a rising slope or a reverse-slope, hence the name reverse-slope hearing loss. Lower-frequency hearing loss can be less noticeable than higher-frequency hearing loss. After all, what is more noticeable in a song, a bass line or the shriek of an electric guitar?