Hearing loss is a common sensory impairment in childhood. 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. Hearing loss in children as well as new born population may be progressive or late-onset hearing loss. Some of the common causes of progressive or late-onset hearing loss include environmental and hereditary factors, infections, illness, trauma, and noise induced hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss of any degree, including mild bilateral and unilateral, can adversely affect the speech, language, academic, and psychosocial development of children. 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. These hearing aids are used to amplify sound in the patient’s ear and make sound audible and comfortable for the patient. A 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. Contralateral routing of of signals (CROS) hearing aids, eyeglass aids, disposable hearing aids, and bone conduction hearing aids are some of the common types of hearing aids which are used in case of the paediatric population. Real-Ear-To-Coupler Difference (RECD) is one of the recent diagnostic tests that are used to evaluate pediatric hearing loss.
Currently, North America dominates the global pediatric hearing aids market, followed by Europe. This is due to the rising prevalence of hearing loss in children and presence of hearing loss diagnostics centers in these regions. Asia is expected to be the fastest growing market in the next five years. This is due to the developing health care infrastructure and increasing government initiatives for providing better health care facilities in this region. The presence of a large patient population base is also driving the growth of the market in the region.
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