What is Cookie Bite Hearing Loss?
Cookie bite hearing loss is a form of sensorineural hearing loss. It is associated with impairment and a loss of hearing to mid-frequency sounds. The name originates from the audiogram, as someone suffering from this type of hearing loss has an audiogram curve that looks like a cookie with a bite taken out of it. Hearing at low and high frequencies are fine, but the middle range sounds are impaired, reflecting a dipping audiogram curve.
Cookie bite hearing loss is also often simply referred to as “mid-range hearing loss.”
With this type of hearing loss, it can be very difficult to make sense of the real world, as certain sounds come through loudly, while other sounds may be impaired and not heard. For example, someone with cookie bite hearing loss may struggle to follow a conversation, but may pick up loud high frequency sounds in the background. This creates a very uneven interpretation of sound and the surrounding environment.
Most comfortable sounds are mid-frequency and as a result, not being able to hear these sounds make social interactions and listening very difficult. Listening to someone talk, watching the TV, listening to music, and most daily interactions, are all going to be impacted by a loss of mid-frequency sounds.
Reverse Cookie Bite Hearing Loss
An audiogram will also show evidence of someone suffering from what is known as “reverse cookie bite hearing loss.” This form of hearing loss is identified by an opposite curve of regular cookie bite hearing loss. Mid frequency sounds are normal, while low and high frequencies are impaired. This creates a bell-shaped curve on an audiogram.
Symptoms of Cookie Bite Hearing Loss
One of the problems with cookie bite hearing loss is the fact that the symptoms can be hard to identify at an early stage. Although present from child birth, the condition may not be noticed until much later in life. This means having regular hearing tests as a child, right through to adulthood, is recommended to spot any indicators from an audiogram.
It can progress over time, so it is important to get on top of the condition as soon as possible.
We can’t diagnose such a condition simply from anecdotal and patient interpretation of their hearing. There are a wide range of types of hearing loss and it wouldn’t be clear if hearing impairment was cookie bite or something else, without first having a hearing test and using an audiogram. Sensorineural hearing loss and damage to hearing cells may also create hearing impairment that creates similarly uneven hearing.
Causes of Cookie Bite Hearing Loss
Cookie bite hearing loss is regarded as being a generically inherited condition. Unlike many other types of hearing loss that are caused by damage to the hearing cells, cookie bite hearing loss is largely associated with a genetic disposition resulting in this inability to hear mid frequency sounds.
Due to the cause coming from genetics, it is important for children who have any family member with the condition to get their hearing tested. There is an increased chance of a child inheriting the condition if either parent or a close relative has it.
Similarly, if a child is diagnosed with the condition, parents may often be surprised to find out they also have the condition, without every realising it. As problems with hearing often don’t become apparent until 30s-40s, it can go under the radar for a long time.
Cookie bite hearing loss is a form of sensorineural hearing loss. This refers to hearing impaired due to problems with the inner ear or associated nerve pathways.
Treatment of Cookie Bite Hearing Loss
Unfortunately, cookie bite hearing loss can’t be cured. As a result, the best form of treatment is with a hearing aid. It is important to find a hearing aid suitable for the amplification of mid-frequency sounds. Unlike other types of hearing loss, general amplification of sounds is not an effective form of treatment as the low and high frequencies will become too loud and unbearable.
Special hearing aids that can pick up and amplify mid-frequency sounds, as well as potentially limiting low and high frequencies, mean those who suffer from cookie bite hearing loss can have dramatically improved hearing.
Most hearing treatment is designed for total loss of hearing or high frequencies. This means treatment for mid-range frequencies is somewhat limited in comparison.
Cookie bite hearing loss is a very personal condition and a result, there isn’t one particular hearing aid setting that will solve the problems. Instead, it requires hearing professionals to work closely with the patient and test different methods of amplifying and limiting various frequencies until the patient feels their hearing is comfortable. One of the main focuses is to control the high and low frequencies as much as improving the mid frequencies, otherwise it can cause extreme discomfort.
Although the condition hasn’t received as much attention as other types of hearing loss, due to its rarity, modern hearing aids with lots of functionality are more likely to help improve cookie bite hearing.
You will also need each ear testing and a hearing aid optimised for each ear. The condition may result in relative similarities between both ears, or you may find one ear needs different setting from the other. To get the perfect solution to the hearing loss relies more on trial and error more than other forms of hearing loss, however, this simply reflects the complexities of the condition.
As the condition can worsen as you age, it is important to have regular check-ups and hearing tests to ensure your hearing aid is appropriately set to maximise your particular requirements.
Cookie Bite Hearing Loss and Hearing Solutions UK
If you’d like to learn more about cookie bite hearing loss, or book yourself an appointment with one of our hearing experts, simply get in touch today. We can help provide a professional hearing assessment and help you understand what type of hearing loss you have. From cookie bite hearing loss to any other type, we are here to help and here to ensure you get the service and products needed to enjoy better hearing.
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