Woman with medical condition can't hear "male voices"

A woman in China reportedly suffering from a rare medical condition supposedly can't hear male voices. Most hearing loss occurs at higher frequencies when the delicate hair-like stereocilia of the inner ear are damaged, but this woman has the much less common reverse-slope hearing loss (RSHL) that affects the ability to hear lower frequencies. From LiveScience:

At the hospital, Chen was treated by Dr. Lin Xiaoqing — a woman — who noted that while Chen was able to hear Xiaoqing's voice, she couldn't hear the voice of a nearby male patient "at all," according to Newsweek. Xiaoqing diagnosed Chen with reverse-slope hearing loss, a rare type of low-frequency hearing loss that likely impaired her ability to hear deep male voices....

Loss of hearing of lower-pitched sounds (which is what Chen experienced) is... less common because the bass-processing portion of the cochlea — a snail-shaped structure deep in the inner ear — is very well protected, said Jackie Clark, a clinical professor with the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, who also wasn't involved with Chen's case...

"Most studies have shown that if you catch it within 48 hours, you have the best chance for recovery," (Clark) said.

illustration: Morten Bisgaard - From the book "Tidens naturlære" 1903 by Poul la Cour Read the rest

Man's head audibly ticked like a clock

If you stood next to Sankey Flynn (1918-2001) of Greensboro, North Carolina, you might have thought he had a wristwatch in his head. An audible tick-tock sound could be heard coming from Flynn's ears about twice a second.

According to physicians, the noise came from the "spasmodic contraction of muscles in the roof of his mouth. This causes the eustachian tube, leading from the throat to the ears, to open and shut making the peculiar noise."

Clipping above from the Waynesville Mountaineer, June 1, 1950; Below, from the Somerset Daily American, Feb 26, 1951.

(via Weird Universe)

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The last of India's street ear-cleaners

India's traditional roadside ear de-waxers, called kaan saaf wallahs, are known by the red handkerchiefs on their heads. They charge around 15 cents per ear, and one ear cleaner interviewed by the LA Times says he gets about 12 customers per day. He lives in a room shared by 15 men.

The deluxe treatment can include daubs of lotion, coconut oil and a dark liquid that Mehboob described as an ayurvedic tonic, and costs 50 rupees, or 80 cents.

"That's if the ear is inflamed, or if it's really red," [Sayed Mehboob] says. "The lotions provide a soothing effect."

His method is to dip the cotton-tipped pin in hydrogen peroxide and scrape the outer ear canal before proceeding to the inner canal. An old pair of tweezers helps pick out stubborn bits of dirt and wax.

Malcolm Chapman / Shutterstock.com

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