What Causes Cookie Bite Hearing Loss?

Person with Cookie Bite Hearing Loss Going Hiking


When discussing hearing loss, age-related and noise-induced hearing loss tend to come up most often. Both of these hearing loss types fall under the umbrella of sensorineural hearing loss, the most common classification of hearing loss. However, there are other types of hearing loss that fall under the same umbrella that receive less attention, like cookie bite hearing loss.

Cookie bite hearing loss is not only rare, but it can also be difficult to identify. This is because it affects one’s ability to hear mid-frequency sounds but not high or low-frequency sounds. Because of this, a person with this loss may struggle to hear a person speaking to them. Yet, they may have no problem hearing a high-frequency sound in the background.

Although difficult to diagnose, noticeable symptoms of cookie bite hearing loss typically arise when an individual is in their 30s or 40s. As such, if you or your loved one is experiencing symptoms like those mentioned above, it may be time to learn more about this rare hearing loss type.

Defining Cookie Bite Hearing Loss

Whether you’ve heard it called cookie bite, U-shaped, soup plate, or pool hearing loss, there’s a reason behind all of these names: When someone with this type of hearing loss takes a hearing test, their hearing loss will appear in a u-shaped audiogram curve that looks similar to a cookie with a bite taken out of it. This u-shaped curve reveals a mid-range frequency hearing loss but a maintained ability to hear high and low frequencies.

In addition to a standard cookie bite hearing loss, there is also reverse cookie bite hearing loss. Instead of a u-shaped curve on an audiogram, a person with this hearing loss type will have a bell-shaped curve on their audiogram. Likewise, rather than a mid-frequency hearing loss, this person would have a high and low-frequency hearing loss but a maintained ability to hear mid-frequency sounds.

The Causes of Cookie Bite Hearing Loss

More often than not, the cause of cookie bite hearing loss is simply genetics. In some cases, this hearing loss is inherited. In other cases, if the mother of the individual has had German measles, his or her chances of acquiring this hearing loss type are increased. Nevertheless, in any case of genetically acquired cookie bite hearing loss, the condition can onset as early as childhood, even if symptoms are not apparent.

In more unusual cases, cookie bite hearing loss can be caused by disease, aging, or loud noises. Just as with most types of sensorineural hearing loss, cookie bite hearing loss occurs when the hair cells in the inner ear are damaged. Hairs cells are the sensory receptors that allow your brain to receive and process sound. Because we lose hair cells with age, cookie bite hearing loss can worsen as we grow older. Ototoxic medications, such as aspirin, can potentially have this effect as well.

Symptoms & Diagnosis of Cookie Bite Hearing Loss

Cookie bite hearing loss is often difficult to diagnose. In most cases, a person is not diagnosed with this condition until around 30 to 40 years of age. Since the symptoms of this condition often worsen with age, the symptoms become more apparent, leading the individual experiencing the symptoms to participate in a hearing test. This is not the only reason that this hearing loss type is difficult to diagnose, however.

Another reason that cookie bite hearing loss is often difficult to diagnose is that the symptoms themselves are so unusual. As mentioned previously, a person with this condition may struggle to understand a conversation or hear the television at a normal volume (mid-frequency sounds). On the other hand, that person may have no trouble hearing the low notes on a piano (low frequency) or a high-pitched whistle (high-frequency sound), which seems to contradict standard symptoms of hearing loss.

The only definitive way to determine if a person has the cookie bite hearing loss, however, is to visit an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor. That doctor can conduct a formal hearing test, and if the results on the audiogram appear in a u-shaped curve, that person has a cookie bite hearing loss.

Treating Cookie Bite Hearing Loss

As with most cases of sensorineural hearing loss, cookie bite hearing loss is permanent. While the negative impacts of cookie bite hearing loss cannot be reversed, those with this hearing loss type can improve their hearing by wearing hearing aids. Because this hearing loss affects the ability to perceive mid-range frequencies, people with cookie bite hearing loss most often need hearing aids that will amplify the sounds within that range.

With the latest improvements in technology, there several types of hearing aids that can help with this hearing loss. Often, people purchase hearing aids from a local hearing aid provider, but that can cost thousands of dollars. These inflated prices are often a direct result of paying for an in-house audiologist, a brick and mortar building, and more. Thanks to the Internet, however, there are providers that are able to keep the cost of hearing aids low for customers like you.

Advanced Affordable Hearing is here to help you hear better at a price you can afford. If you or your loved one suffers from cookie bite hearing loss, we have several low-priced hearing devices that will help you to hear better, without breaking the bank.

  • HCZ3—Thanks to the high-frequency trimpot, you can tune the high/mid frequency adjustments to a greater degree.

  • HCEQ—With the frequency adjustment control, you can give mid-frequency sounds a boost.

To start hearing better today, give us a call at 1 (800) 804-0434.


Shop Hearing Aids

Related Blog Posts