Cookie bite hearing loss derives its name from the specific form of the hearing curve in the audiogram of a person suffering from this particular kind of sensorineural hearing loss. The curve resembles the form of a cookie that has been bitten.
This is a relatively rare hearing impairment and is characterised by the inability of the sufferers to hear mid-frequency sounds, although they manage to preserve a good perception of high and low frequency sounds. This condition allows the person to hear annoying noises such as a door slamming, but they might find it hard to follow a conversation. Cookie bite hearing loss can also be referred to as pool hearing loss, soup plate hearing loss or U-shaped hearing loss.
Most cases of cookie bite hearing loss are due to a genetically inherited condition, rather than aging, exposure to loud noises, different illnesses and injuries or any of the other causes that are usually responsible for the more common types of hearing loss. Although a person is born with it, in some cases this may not become obvious during the first years of a child’s life because its symptoms usually begin to show and lead to more serious hearing problems after a person reaches 30 years of age. It is not uncommon that the carrier of the condition may not even suspect that their hearing ability is compromised before the age of 30-40, especially if they have never gone through a hearing test. At a young age, a hearing check is the only option to discover the condition even if the symptoms are not yet recognizable and it is highly recommended especially if any of the parents has a history of hearing loss in the family.
As this is a type of sensorineural hearing loss, it cannot be cured or averted. Thus, it requires the use of a hearing aid. Due to the specific character of the condition, the standard types of hearing aids will not be able to suit the needs of the sufferer. A more advanced and sophisticated device is required, focused mainly on the amplifying of the mid-frequency sounds at the expense of the low and high frequency levels. This is very important for the users, as they are usually hypersensitive to the amplifications of sound levels they are able to hear and for example might find it unbearable to wear hearing aids in a loud environment. The necessary additional functionalities may increase the cost in comparison to the price of other listening devices.
The hearing aid will not be able to restore hearing but can greatly help in managing the condition. That is why it is recommended to start with its use as soon as possible in order to get used to it and be able to lead as normal life as possible. Cookie bite hearing loss can progress with time, so it is crucial to start taking actions immediately after being diagnosed with it. In order to determine the correct treatment and the device suitable for the individual situation it is imperative to visit a qualified audiologist first.