If you are suffering from cookie bite hearing loss you will already know just how difficult it is to cope with this kind of deafness. You have no doubt been struggling to find a hearing aid that will help you to hear what you need to hear properly without amplifying other noises too much.
If that describes your experience this article is specifically for you. Here we are going to tell you what type of hearing aid is best for this kind of deafness.
The Importance of Understanding SNHL
In this article, we are also going to briefly explain what cookie bite hearing loss is and how to recognise the symptoms. This is because many people never get a proper diagnosis of their hearing loss.
Because SNHL (cookie bite hearing loss) is relatively rare not everyone has heard of it. This means that most people do not consider it as the underlying reason for their loss of hearing. That in turn can mean that they try to solve their hearing problems using the wrong kind of hearing aid.
What is Cookie Bite Hearing Loss?
This hearing disorder is a form of Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL). The root cause of this kind of hearing loss is a problem with the vestibulocochlear nerve, the inner ear or the way the brain processes sound. Some suffers have problems with all three, others have a problem with just one e.g. an issue with their inner ear.
The disorder produces a hearing curve on a hearing test graph that is the same shape as that left when someone bites into a cookie, hence the quirky name for the condition. It is sometimes called pool, U-shape or soup plate hearing loss.
How Does the Condition affect how you hear?
Someone suffering from the condition has good hearing at high and low frequencies, but cannot hear sound in the mid frequency band. This means that some sounds are clear, whilst others are no.
What is heard varies considerably from person to person. Some people can hear all speech yet another person will mishear certain words because of the frequency of one of the sounds that makes up the word. They may be able to hear and understand one person, but not another.
You can probably hear cars fine, but will not be able to hear most birdsong. Many people only recognise the problem when they have children and cannot hear them crying because of the condition.
Why is Cookie Bite Hearing Loss so Difficult to Treat?
The fact the condition varies so much from individual to individual makes it hard to treat. There really is no one size fits all solution. A hearing aid or amplifier that works for one person will not help another person very much.
In addition, as you age the condition may worsen. This means that you may have to constantly adjust how you treat the condition.
If you are unlucky enough to have the problem in both ears and each ear produces a different hearing curve result the issues are doubled. This is because you need to treat each ear differently, so finding a solution is complicated.
The Real Problem with Cookie Bite Hearing Loss
The main problem with this kind of hearing loss is that it is relatively rare. This means that not many clinical studies have been carried out. Many audiologists will have only treated one or two cases, so they do not always have much experience with the condition.
Sadly, this means that resolving your hearing loss is going to take a lot of trial and error. You and your otologist or audiologist are going to have to experiment with different hearing aid settings until you find something that works for you.
It is important with hearing loss to get a proper diagnosis rather than just going out and buy a hearing aid. Understanding your condition is the only way to ensure you do not end up wasting money on hearing aids that will not work for your particular problem. Its also important that you consider the cost of hearing aids when deciding what to do.
The Problem with Traditional Hearing Aids
Unfortunately, the rarity of the condition also means that there are no hearing aids available to treat this specific condition. Traditional hearing aids enhance the entire spectrum of frequencies.
This means that they turn up all of the sounds that reach the ear. That means that high and low frequency noises will sound unnaturally loud. You will be able to hear the mid range noises too, but will have to learn to interpret this new sound and tone down the high and low frequencies sound.
At first, everything you hear will seem distorted and out of focus, but with perseverance many users find that they actually get used to this and adapt. At this point, a hearing aid really improves their life. Once again they can hear the full spectrum of sounds and again enjoy the theatre and a normal conversation.
The Right Hearing Aid for Cookie Bite Hearing Loss
However, you have to buy the right kind of hearing aid.
The hearing aid you buy needs to be open ear. This will allow the ear to continue to receive low and high frequency sounds more naturally.
You also need to choose an aid that has plenty of channels. This is important because you will have to experiment to find the best settings for you. The more channels you have the better chance you will have of finding a setting that works for you.
A Good Hearing Aid for Cookie Bite Hearing Loss
We recommend that you speak to your doctor about the Hearpod. In is an open ear product with 32 different channels.
The price is low yet this hearing aid gets a lot of praise on review sites and forums, so it is a good option for most people who have selective hearing loss. You can read our in-depth review of hearpods here.
Cookie bite hearing loss is a type of sensorineural hearing impairment that is characterised by the 8th cranial nerve being the cause of the hearing loss. Damage to the inner ear, brain or auditory nerve can cause a sensorineural hearing impairment.
If you are a suffering from Cookie Bite Hearing Loss and you are looking for a telephone to amplifier your phone conversations.
Why Is It Called Cookie Bite Hearing Loss?
The name “cookie bite” came about as a result of the shape of the hearing curve when presented on an audiogram; a similar shape to that of a cookie that has had a bite taken out of it. There are also some other names that are used to describe this form of hearing loss: U-shaped hearing loss, soup plate hearing loss, or pool hearing loss, just to name a few.
What Are The Symptoms And Characteristics Of A Cookie Bite Hearing Impairment?
People with this particular type of hearing loss have trouble hearing sounds in the mid frequency range. They normally don’t experience such a problem with low and high frequency sounds, by comparison. Regular human conversation is one of the mid frequency sounds that may be difficult for a cookie bite sufferer to hear.
What Are The Causes Of Cookie Bite Hearing Loss And Who Can Get It?
This type of hearing problem is not overly common, and can be hereditary or more likely to occur when a child’s mother has had the German measles. It is often discovered in a child’s very first hearing test. In some cases, a parent may have cookie bite hearing loss but not even be aware of it. They may be tested at the same time that the child’s disorder has been diagnosed, only to become surprised at finding out that they too suffer from the same hearing impairment. Besides early childhood diagnosis, the most common age that a person finds out that they have this problem is usually in their 30s or 40s.
Some diseases, aging, and excessively loud noise can all result in cookie bite hearing loss. The problem occurs when the extremely minuscule hair cells that are located in cochlea become damaged. As people age, these hair cells become less numerous and as a result, this hearing loss often becomes worse with age, including the possibility of even high frequency sounds becoming more difficult to hear as time goes on. It is also thought that some drugs could bring about symptoms of cookie bite hearing loss, including aspirin, streptomycin and quinine.
What is Reverse Cookie Bite Hearing Loss?
To make matters a little more confusing when it comes to this unique form of hearing impairment, there is also such thing as reverse cookie bite hearing loss. As the name would suggest, reverse cookie bite hearing impairment is the opposite of the regular cookie bite shape on the audiogram.
In practical terms this means that the person has normal hearing in the middle frequency range, where regular cookie bite impairment takes place. But they will find that their hearing is not functioning normally in the low and high frequencies. This can range from relatively mild hearing loss in those top and bottom frequencies, to quite severe. On the audiogram chart, a reverse cookie bite impairment does indeed look the opposite to the normal cookie bite hearing result.
How Is Cookie Bite Hearing Loss Treated?
Unfortunately, when a person has this type of hearing loss condition, they will never be able to recover their full ability to hear properly. There are thankfully a number of types of hearing aids which can be used by people with cookie bite hearing impairment, and these aids are able to give the person at least some restoration of their hearing.
Standard hearing aids are generally not able to be used by a person with this type of hearing impairment. The type of hearing aid device that is required is one that is able to specifically amplify the middle frequency sounds, whilst doing so at the expense of the sounds in the high and low frequencies. This is a vital factor when it comes to selecting the right hearing aid for cookie bite hearing loss, because an aid that also amplifies sounds in the low and high frequency spectrums (which the cookie bite patient is able to hear normally), will result in those additional sounds being considerably uncomfortable in loud environments. Due to the specialist nature of the required hearing aid for this particular condition then, they may cost a little more than compared with a standard hearing aid. However, the benefits to the user will more than make up for the added financial expense.
A good hearing aid for this condition should be sourced as soon as possible after diagnosis. It may take patients some time to get accustomed to the hearing aid, but most find that they help considerably in living with this ailment.
Even though cookie bite hearing loss is not able to be improved or cured, sufferers can take advantage of the ever advancing technology available in hearing aids and other related research that is continually providing better and more effective solutions for obtaining a better quality of hearing. Regular hearing tests, carried out in accordance with the direction of an audiologist, will ensure that the patient’s hearing ability is monitored over time, with careful attention being paid to any noticeable decline, or possible loss of hearing in other parts of the frequency spectrum, which may eventually require a different type of hearing aid.