There are a number of different types and degrees of hearing loss. One lesser-known type is called cookie-bite hearing loss.
Why Is it Called Cookie-Bite?
An audiogram is a visual representation of your hearing loss. For those with this uncommon type of sensorineural hearing loss, their audiogram is shaped like a bell or the letter U. Dr. Jordan Glicksman, an otolaryngologist and lecturer at Harvard Medical School explains, “It got that name because when a patient with this pattern of hearing loss has an audiogram and the hearing thresholds are graphed, the pattern is a ‘U’ that looks as if someone took a bite out of it.”
What Is Cookie-Bite Hearing Loss?
Someone with normal hearing can pick up a wide range of sounds ranging in pitch from low to high. Someone with cookie-bite hearing loss losses the ability to hear sounds with a mid-range frequency. They can still hear high- and low-pitched sounds, such as birds chirping and thunder.
A lot of human speech and music is within this mid-range of 500 to 2,000 Hz.
Common symptoms of this type of hearing loss include:
- Reduced clarity
- Difficulty hearing in crowds
- Turning up the volume
What Causes Cookie-Bite Hearing Loss?
Cookie-bite hearing loss is genetic. It can be present at birth or may develop over time. According to Dr. Glicksman, “a family history is a risk factor.”
While much less common, acoustic neuromas can also lead to this rare type of hearing loss.
Like most types of hearing loss, there is no cure. But there are treatment options available to help manage the condition.
Hearing aids can be programmed to amplify the mid-frequency sounds, helping you fill in the gaps in your hearing.
Lifestyle changes can also help. Try sitting close enough to the person speaking so you can see their lips when in a classroom, restaurant or other social gatherings. If the speaker is using a microphone, try moving closer to the speaker amplifying their voice. To learn more about this uncommon type of hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, contact Central Florida Hearing Services today.