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Cookie Bite Hearing Loss

What a shame that a condition with such a cute name, Cookie Bite Hearing Loss, can be so frustrating! Cooking bite hearing loss is when people have difficulty hearing sounds in the 500Hz to 2000Hz frequency range. Unfortunately, these frequencies represent sounds we most want to hear: speech and music. Let’s get into the nitty gritty, and learn the best ways to address this condition.

What is a cookie bite hearing loss?

Cookie bite hearing loss is a type of sensorineural hearing loss. It is when your audiogram is shaped like the letter “u,” like a cookie that has a bite taken out of it. This loss occurs when there’s been damage to the inner ear or the nerve that transmits auditory information to the brain. Thankfully, this kind of hearing loss is rare, not nearly as common as age-related or noise-induced hearing loss.

Cookie bite hearing loss is often a genetic condition, which can be either congenital (a condition you’re born with) or can develop slowly over time. With cookie bite hearing loss, you cannot hear sounds between 500 Hz and 2,000 Hz, a range in which most speech and music occurs. However, you can still hear low-frequency sounds like lawnmowers, or high-frequency sounds like whistling. This often means you can hear people talking but may have a more challenging time figuring out what is actually being said.

Diagnosing Cookie Bite Hearing Loss

Diagnosing cookie bite hearing loss can be challenging, mainly because it starts as such a mild form of hearing loss, it’s sometimes difficult to notice it’s even happening. Without noticing any difference in hearing, people take much longer to request a hearing test. That is why it tends to go undetected until people are in their 30s or 40s.

Thankfully, once you notice something is wrong and request a hearing test, an audiogram will give you the answers you need. If you have cookie bite hearing loss, the audiogram will look like a bell, confirming the diagnosis. Your audiologist will look through the audiogram with you, explain what it means, and more importantly, go over what the best treatment options are available for you!

Treating Cookie Bite Hearing Loss

As with most kinds of hearing loss, the best treatment option is hearing aids. Hearing aids can be programmed to restore the loudness of mid-frequency sounds, helping you hear better. There are so many different kinds of hearing aids out there, and they all have a variety of features. By consulting with your audiologist, you’ll be able to work together to pick out the kind that works best with how your cookie bite hearing loss is affecting you. We’ll get into hearing aid specifics in a moment, but there are ways to address cookie bite hearing loss with some lifestyle changes.

For many, making simple changes to how you go about your day can help. It won’t be a cure, but it can help your day go by more smoothly. Some people find success by manipulating where they are in a room at any given moment. This means that if you’re in a social gathering, be sure to sit closer to the person talking, and do what you can to make sure you can see their face. When possible, move away from sources of sound that could be interfering, like a loud fan. The less competition there is with the voice you’re trying to hear, the better.

Like most hearing loss, it can worsen over time, so don’t ignore it. If you notice something is amiss, make an appointment with an audiologist as soon as possible to receive the best hearing treatment you can.

What type of hearing aid is best for cookie bite hearing loss?

Now, we’ve determined that hearing aids are the best way to address cookie bite hearing loss, but just as important to emphasize is that they need to be set and adjusted properly. This is why getting fitted for a hearing aid with an audiologist, not a Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) is essential. An audiologist will be able to take the necessary measurements to set the hearing aids just right to address cookie bite hearing loss.

While a HIS may be skilled, they may not have the training needed to properly adjust a hearing aid based on the audiogram. That is essential because the last thing you want is to have sounds you can already hear amplified even more, that could just lead to more hearing loss – a lose-lose! There are many different kinds of hearing aids out there, and many of them will be able to help with cookie bite hearing loss, but there are some features that are absolutely necessary.

Multiple Hearing Channels

Hearing aids that come with multiple hearing channels are able to process sounds better, thus giving the wearer a superior hearing experience. How? Sounds come into the hearing aids and the technology analyzes the sound according to its frequency. The program in the hearing aid will then determine if the frequency needs to be amplified or blocked according to each person’s needs. This is how you can avoid amplifying sounds you already hear, and amplifying the sounds you have trouble hearing. The more channels the better!

Hearing Modes

Our world is a tapestry of different soundscapes, a busy city street, a hike in an isolated forest, or a jazz night at a boisterous nightclub, it’s all different. And while people without hearing aids are able to switch from each setting easily, the same cannot be said for those wearing hearing aids. But most hearing aids nowadays offer different hearing modes to avoid those issues.

Make sure the hearing aid you choose offers different hearing modes so that you can have different presets to choose from as needed. Hearing aids can be calibrated to fit different hearing requirements depending on the location. This means you can have an “at home” setting, as well as a “rock concert” setting, which you can easily switch to as needed. There are even some hearing aids out there that can switch between modes automatically!

Noise-Canceling Features

Background noise is a common nuisance amongst hearing aid users, and for those with cookie bite hearing loss, it’s even more challenging. As you struggle to hear mid-range sound frequencies, any surrounding low and high-frequency sounds really get in the way. But hearing aids with noise-canceling technology can help!

Hearing aids register sounds and modify the volume according to its programming. For those with cookie bite hearing loss, the mid-range frequency sounds will be amplified, and all others, low and high, will be canceled. This will help users have an optimal experience using hearing aids.

As with every hearing condition, the most important thing to do is to see an audiologist. No hearing loss, big or small, should be ignored. And since cookie bite hearing loss is harder to notice, it’s extra important to go see a hearing care specialist, even if it feels like it may be nothing. An audiologist will be able to give you a hearing test, explain the audiogram to you, and help you choose the best hearing aids for your needs. More importantly, they will be able to adjust the hearing aids to your specific needs.

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