Hearing is the ability to perceive sound by hearing vibrations of of frequency ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The ear is divided into three parts: outer, middle, and inner ear. The outer ear comprises the auditory canal and ear drum, the middle ear comprises ossicles (stapes, malleus, and incus), and the inner ear comprises the auditory nerve and cochlea. Hearing loss is a common problem caused due to repeated exposure to loud noise and age related hearing problems. There are mainly two types of hearing loss- conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss is caused due to the reduced mobility of ossicles, or as a result of blockage such as earwax, and glue ear. It can be treated with surgery. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused due to the damage of cochlea or deterioration of hair cells or nerves in the ear. It can be corrected with the help of hearing aids, middle ear implants, and cochlear implants. Hearing aids are electronic hearing devices, which consist of a speaker, microphone, and amplifier. Microphones are used to accept the sound, amplifier is used to formulate the sound louder, and speaker is used to transmit the amplified sound into the ear canal. These devices are used to amplify sound in the hearing aid and make sound audible and comfortable for the patient. The hearing aid device helps in comprehending the speech and to amplify soft speech and environmental sound. However, background sound disturbances, and amplification of loud sound to the point where it can get uncomfortable for the ears are some of the limitations of the hearing aid devices. These devices are available in various styles and sizes, including in the ear, behind the ear, in the canal, and completely in the ear hearing aids. Volume control, telecoil, clipping, Bluetooth, programmability, remote control, FM, direct audio input, and multiple microphone directionality are some of the significant features of the hearing aid devices.
Europe dominates the global market for hearing aids due to the increasing geriatric population and the rise in the number of patients having higher purchasing power in the region. Asia is expected to exhibit a high growth rate in the next five years in the global hearing aids market, with China and India being the fastest-growing markets in Asia Pacific. The key driving factors for the hearing aids market in developing countries are the large pool of patients, increase in age related hearing problems, increasing awareness about advanced hearing aid devices, improving health care infrastructure, increasing disposable income, increasing health care expenditure, and rising government funding in the region.
Rise in geriatric population, increasing prevalence of hearing loss such as congenital hear loss problem and nerve deafness, increasing usage of digital hearing aid technology, rise in health care awareness and expenditure, growing awareness about advanced hearing aid devices, and increasing disposable income in developing countries are some of the key factors driving the growth of the global hearing aids market. However, strict government regulations and high cost of hearing aids act as major restraints for the growth of the global hearing aids market.
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Some of the major trends in the global hearing aids market are increasing market consolidation, and rising innovation in terms of the development of advanced hearing aids. The major companies operating in the global hearing aids market are Benson Hearing, Inc, GN ReSound Group, MED-EL GmbH, MicroTech, Inc., Phonak, William Demant Holdings A/S, Siemens Healthcare, Sonova Holding AG, Sophono Inc., Starkey Hearing Technologies, and Widex A/S.
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