New to the forums and to hearing loss

Just reposting this here as advised - my bad:

Hi all. I’m 18 years old and have had a rather rapid decline in my hearing of late. Initially I thought my ears were blocked with wax or I had fluid in them, but alas, no.

I had a hearing test about two months ago, a little while after I noticed the problem, which showed a ‘cookie bite’ pattern. A few weeks later I had another test at the ENT’s clinic, which showed a slightly deeper ‘bite’. I had an MRI which was clear. I don’t have the exact figures for the more recent audiogram, but it drops to about 35 dB in the 2-4 kHz range, while 250Hz and 8kHz are 0-10 dB, pretty much perfect. The ENT says it’s likely hereditary, any online literature ( What would I do without the internet?) I can find on ‘cookie bites’ confirms this

I have difficulty hearing in restaurants and shops, etc. but not when talking in a quiet room to someone nearby. Music has also lost much of its quality to my ears. At the risk of complaining to most of you for whom my problem seems trivial, it’s making me rather withdrawn and miserable .

So my question is this: are there hearing aids that would enable someone like me with this sort of mild loss to hear better in background noise, or when people don’t talk clearly? My Dad is a serial mutterer, and won’t change to suit me now that I can’t understand him. Would it be worth trialing some aids, and would they help with my tinnitus and sense of ‘fullness’?

And for the ‘cookie biters’… How sudden was your hearing loss, and does it generally progress quickly? Any communication tips would be helpful too, as I come off as rather slow in certain environments, being naive to this problem.

Thanks guys, I apologise for the novel .

No one wants to have a hearing loss, and it sucks when it happens at your age. But there are a few things you can take comfort in. I started fitting hearing aids around the time you were born, and back then, they SUCKED! At least compared to today.

Another good bit of news is that personally, I find cookie bite hearing losses WAY easier to fit than some others. Truth be told the worst area for hearing aids to help is over 6-7KHz. Hearing aids just aren’t that amazing at the really high frequencies. It can lead to feedback issues, and the higher the frequency the more likely it is to fade away before it gets to your nerve. So the fact that you have normal results in that area means that a hearing aid can address the problem area really easily.

I saw a patient last week with a cookie bite much worse than yours. I tried him with some Starkey RIC aids and he was blown away. Perhaps one of the best reactions I’ve seen from a patient recently. From a professional point of view it was so easy to help him.

Modern open fit aids allow you to hear all your natural hearing just fine, and then put in the extra sound you need in the problem areas. With the right technology you should experience very close to normal hearing I suspect, and it is common for tinnitus to sound better (quieter / less noticeable etc) while wearing aids.

If you are going to try something I’d look at Starkey; America’s largest hearing aid company. They also trade under the names Audibel or MicroTech, depending on where you live. You can read about their products at and (the latter being for people who like more technical information).

The neat thing about RIC hearing aids is the power of the aid is contained in the piece that goes in your ear. If your hearing does deteriorate, and lets face it you are very young and should have a lot of life ahead of you, so odds are it might, you can replace the loudspeaker on the aid which ups the power level substantially. This saves you from buying a new aid. With a loss like yours the weakest power would be fine for you, but there are currently three substantially more powerful speakers that can be fitted to the device in the future. This will give you longer life out of it, without the need to buy brand new aids. Also a RIC can be pretty easy to hide so it is not obvious.

Those are my thoughts, good luck.

Hi Squareman,

I’m really sorry to hear about your hearing loss. I’m 16 and I have mild hearing loss in my right ear - quite similar to yours. As you can see in my signature, it drops to 30 db at 2 kHz. It really sucks :(. Even a mild hearing loss like ours can have a huge effect on our life - the way we perceive the world has changed forever. But you know, it’s not all bad.

I’m currently trialing the Unitron Passport Moxi 13 BTE. So far it hasn’t made much difference, but there are many other brands and models out there to try. My advice would be to find a good audiologist and get fitted for hearing aids. From what I’ve heard, they can really make a difference and they can be extremely discrete - my family can’t even see my hearing aid when i have it on :P.

Your problem is by no means trivial. My loss is even milder than yours, and it’s made me quite miserable too. Music has definitely lost much of it’s quality, and everything is so quiet now. It can get quite depressing, living in such a quiet world. So my advice would be to get a hearing aid ASAP, as the sooner you get one the better. Do let me know how things are going ^^.

Thanks for the advice, guys.

ZCT, that is some good news about ‘cookie bites’. From what I had read I thought they would be harder to accommodate, so that is a really positive thing to learn.

Dipshitt, it certainly does have an effect, doesn’t it. Walking down a crowded street, I no longer catch the conversations of passers-by, and I sure can’t communicate easily with whoever I am walking with. The world just seems distant and hollow, and it saps the joy out of anything I used to like. Likewise I am sorry to hear about your loss, and that you have had little success with your hearing aid. I must ask though, has it helped at all with conversation in loud restaurants or other such environments?

It’s hard when this happens so quickly, isn’t it, because the ‘correct’ way for the world to sound is still fresh in your mind. I don’t know if this will ever seem normal to me, and I’m sure you feel the same. I will take your advice and ask about hearing aids, it’s worth a go and will make a big difference to me if they help. Good luck, it’s lonely at our age but hang in there. I’m just trying to forget the past so the future doesn’t seem so bleak in comparison :(.

I originally didn’t have much trouble hearing in noisy environments without the hearing aid, if the speaker is close enough. However, if the speaker is say a few feet away, and we’re walking in a crowded mall, it’s impossible for me to pick up what they’re saying, and my hearing aid hasn’t helped with that. So far the only noticeable difference is that people sound louder, but the sound is electronic in nature.

I too am really struggling to cope with the fact that the world will never sound the same. Good luck to you too, and I hope you find a hearing aid that works for you.

I agree with ZCT (surprise). Starkey has a crisp sound, especially in the highs. It might bring back the sharpness in music.

I just got hearing aids (a week ago) for my cookie bite loss in both ears. And i will tell you, its DEPRESSING! But only after i got the hearing aids. Before that, i wasn’t aware how bad my hearing was. I had noticed i no longer enjoyed music as much or only when it was loud with a deep an dlow. I recently started a new job that has cubicles instead of offices, so everyone whispers and I cannot hear anyone!! So i decided to get my hearing checked again.

I got my hearing checked 7 years ago, and I had a cookie bite then and the doc told me theres nothing i can do about it-i wish i had my old audiogram to compare the two (the old office no longer has my records).

I got Oticons, behind the ear with a personalized mold. You know, the audiologist never montioned that i could just try domes which would have been cheaper. She only offered my to look at Oticon pamphlets. After coming to this site, i realized that there are a lot more options around. I have no idea whether i got the right type, whether i should try some others. What else has she not mentioned?

With the hearing aids, everything sounds funny. I can’t tell whether i am talking too loud or too soft sometimes. I just want to take them off sometimes bc the air conditioner and people walking by sound so loud! I have no idea what feedback to give to the audiologist to help with the adjustments. By the end of the day, i have a headache!! I still have a hard time hearing people talk, esp if they talk fast.

Just thinking about my hearing getting worse makes me depressed at times.


Tell the audiologist everything…the headaches, what’s too loud, what’s not loud enough. it may take a few months for your brain to adjust or adapt to the new/different sounds. She cannot fix it unless you tell her what is good and bad.

im going to have an audiology test done this week,ill send in results so you can help me choose a hearing aid,im short of cash,so ill need your help to make the best choice,thnx

Hey guys…After finding out how bad my hearing was (I am much older than you teens), I got aids back in 2007…it required a lot of going back to the audi and honestly I got tired of it, kept taking them in and out due to too much noise, hearing other things louder than the person I was speaking to etc…I lost my aids 2 years ago and have been researching on this forum which you should continue to do…great support and already you both found eachother at 18 and 16! ZCT seems to be able to fit our kind of loss and has encouraging news, because I had also always heard it was difficult to fit…I wish he was here to fit my aids!!
I want to tell you however frustrating it is to keep trying different aids and going back for adjustments (which may be more for cookie bites than high frequency loss) but it is soooo worth it at your age…don’t get discouraged…there is a good post on here about “use it or lose it” referring to understanding speech with/without hearing aids…also, the thing that really frustrates me is how I feel stupid when I can’t understand what people are saying…it makes you just want to stay inside and you become a hermit!! You also want to be able to hear music and sing and all that…
Well, I guess that’s just my 2 cents worth…search posts about “cookie bite loss” and you should learn a lot about what aids may help but remember it is such an individual thing…our senior members are a wealth of information and never feel bad about writing too much on here…you can also private message…I think just click on the name…good luck guys and just keep at it! (get a load of my loss !!LOL!) Not sure when I realized mine was so bad…I am 51 so I am thinking around 40…I may have had a loss much earlier, but never had it tested… Rosie


It’s not just cookie-biters that are frustrated. I have HF loss and nave been testing aids to replace my 7 year old CICs since February.

I am reasonably happy now with my Starkey CICs, but I am considering thw Wi RIC aids with custom tips. Changing programs or volume using a phone is inconvenient and not very discreet. :frowning:

In other words, I share your pain.