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What Is Cookie Bite Hearing Loss & What Does It Sound Like?


Don’t let the cookie bite hearing loss name fool you – there is nothing sweet about this condition that affects so many people. So, what is cookie bite hearing loss in adults? What does it sound like? What causes it? Is there treatment available? Can hearing aids help? Keep reading below to answer these questions and understand this condition more.

Cookie bite hearing loss is the name given to the type of loss associated with a u-shaped audiogram result – which incidentally also looks like a cookie someone has taken a bite out of. The u-shaped, or cookie bite curve indicates mid-range frequency hearing loss. Unfortunately, this particular audiogram indentation comes with some substantial repercussions.

hearing level graph

What Does Cookie Bite Hearing Loss Sound Like?Little-Girl-Whispering-In-Surprise

To start with, sound can be characterized by both its frequency or pitch, and by its loudness. Frequency is calculated in Hertz and loudness is measured in decibels. An adult with cookie bite hearing loss is unable to hear mid-frequency sounds, which is also why it is also called mid-range frequency hearing loss. Those are sounds that are between the 250 to 2000 Hz range and have a tinny or horn-like quality to them. This is also the range where most adults can understand and determine normal human speech. Some familiar mid-frequency sounds include:

    • Rustling leaves
    • A piano
    • A baby crying
    • Talking
    • a, r, p, h, g, and ch sounds

Cookie Bite Hearing Loss Symptoms 

symptoms of hearing loss

Having cookie bite hearing loss makes it exceedingly difficult to make sense of the world. Some sounds may come through loudly, while other sounds may sound dull, muted, and not able to be heard. Someone with cookie bite hearing loss may struggle to follow the words in a conversation but may pick up loud high frequency sounds in the background, like a door slamming. This creates a very uneven, confusing interpretation of sound in the surrounding environment.

Most comfortable sounds are mid-frequency and as a result, not being able to hear these sounds can put a strain on social interactions and make listening difficult overall. Actively listening to someone talk, engaging in conversation, watching the television, listening to music, and most daily interactions, are all going to be affected by cookie bite hearing loss.

What Causes Cookie Bite Hearing Loss?

common hearing complaints

Most cases of a cookie bite audiogram are simply a result of genetics or disease. The condition gradually develops and can begin onset as early as childhood even if cookie bite hearing loss symptoms are not apparent. People normally start to notice slight difficulties hearing everyday noises in their 20’s, and then gradually becoming more severe and noticeable in their late 30’s to 40’s. The downfall of this slow progression is that many people don’t notice the changes at first, which causes a delay in seeking treatment since young people don’t typically require an audiogram.

Sensorineural hearing losses, like cookie bite hearing loss, occur when the tiny hair cells in the inner ear are damaged. These hair cells are the sensory receptors that allow our brains to process sound. As we age, we continue to lose hair cells, and cookie bite hearing loss can progressively worsen.

Cookie Bite Hearing Loss Treatment

Three types of hearing aids

There is no cure for cookie bite hearing loss, but there are treatments that can help relieve the symptoms and improve the quality of life for people experiencing it. Digital hearing aids and devices are one way to greatly help in managing the condition. Because cookie bite hearing loss can get worse over time, it’s important to start using a hearing aid sooner rather than later. The best type of device to look for when seeking treatment for cookie bite hearing loss is a mid-frequency range focused hearing aid. While there is not currently a treatment to restore hearing completely, using a hearing aid will help you hear more clearly and help the user to start living life again.


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