What Is Cookie-Bite Hearing Loss?

Last update on Aug, 30, 2021

Imagine a chocolate chip cookie. Now picture the shape of that cookie with a bite taken out of it. The U-shaped indention on the edge of the cookie is reminiscent of the shape of the hearing test, or audiogram, results for somebody with cookie-bite hearing loss, also known as mid-range frequency hearing loss. A rare kind of hearing loss, cookie-bite hearing loss impacts a person’s ability to hear mid-frequency sounds (about 500 Hz to 2,000 Hz), while low- and high-frequency sounds may remain unaffected. 

Cookie-bite hearing loss causes and symptoms

Cookie-bite hearing loss is a type of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), meaning it involves the inner ear. Damage to the cochlea or auditory nerve can cause this condition, as opposed to a buildup of earwax, fluid in the middle ear, or other factors that tend to lead to conductive hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is typically genetic and may be congenital (present since birth) or can develop over time. Although uncommon, it’s also possible to develop this condition due to a rare tumor called acoustic neuroma.

Mid-range frequency hearing loss typically worsens over time and may not even be noticeable until your 20s, becoming increasingly severe throughout the 30s and 40s. Because of its rarity and slow development, cookie-bite hearing loss may go undetected and untreated longer than other types of hearing impairments, such as those that develop suddenly.

As cookie-bite hearing loss progresses, the ability to hear mid-range frequency sounds will dissipate. This can be quite difficult for those suffering from this condition as common sounds like speech and music fall into this range. Somebody with cookie-bite hearing loss may find themselves struggling to clearly register others in a conversation, sounds from TV or radio, and may have difficulty hearing in noisy social environments. However, they’ll still likely be able to clearly hear high-frequency pitches, like a baby crying, and low-frequency sounds, like the rumbling of thunder.

Take a look at other common sounds and in which frequency ranges they fall:

Low frequency sounds (below 500 Hz)

  • Dog barking
  • Truck driving by
  • Lawn mower
  • Bass drum

High frequency sounds (above 2,000 Hz)

  • Birds chirping
  • Women and children’s voices
  • Consonant sounds like “f,” “s,” and “th”
  • Instruments like the flute or violin

Diagnosis and treatment for cookie-bite hearing loss

Those who feel they might be experiencing mid-range frequency hearing loss can confirm the diagnosis through an audiogram. After completing a hearing test, a hearing care professional will walk through your detailed results with you. Should the outcome of your test reveal the distinctive U-shape of cookie-bite hearing loss, you can work with a Miracle-Aid hearing specialist to take the next steps for treating the condition.

While cookie-bite hearing loss cannot be reversed, a hearing aid can help mitigate the effects by amplifying the sounds you want to hear. Through custom programming unique to your hearing needs, a hearing aid can make clear the mid-frequency sounds you aren’t registering. Using this technology, you can reconnect with loved ones through clearer conversations and boost quality of life with improved capacity to enjoy the everyday sounds you’ve been missing.

Bring mid-range frequency sounds back to your life. Learn how with Miracle-Ear.

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