Definition of Hearing aids:-
A hearing aid is a device designed to improve hearing by making sound audible to a person with hearing loss. Hearing aids are classified as medical devices in most countries, and regulated by the respective regulations.
Hearing aids are small, wearable electronic devices that enable a person with hearing imparity to hear sounds better and understand speech more clearly, thus improving communication ability. Hearing aids come in all shapes and sizes, categorized as hearing devices and hearing implants. Hearing devices amplify the sound coming from the source, for this hearing device has a miniature microphone-to receive sound and a miniature loudspeaker to send the sound. Between these two components, the sound is amplified and converted into an electronic or digital signal. The amplification of sound depends on the hearing ability of the individual. In contrast, hearing implants are surgically placed inside the ear and are generally for those individuals who are deaf or have profound hearing loss. These devices stimulate the auditory nerve by, bypassing the damaged region of the inner ear. Cochlear implants do not amplify sound rather it creates a stimulus or sensation of sound. There are three major categories of hearing loss, conductive, sensorineural, and mix. Depending on the hearing loss type, there is various treatment available in the market. The growing geriatric population is supposed to drive the growth of the hearing.
There are two basic types of hearing aids:
- In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids
ITE aids are worn in the ear canal and are usually custom-fit, based on an impression that is taken by your hearing care professional at the time of your hearing aid consultation. These styles are typically available in different skin tones to blend with the outer ear. Some types of ITE hearing aids fit very deeply within the ear canal, while others are closer to the outer ear.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
BTE aids sit behind or on top of the outer ear with tubing that routes the sound down into the ear canal via a custom-fit earmold or a dome style that doesn’t block the entire ear canal opening. BTE styles are available in different colors to match hair or skin tone, as well as flashier designs for personalized flair.
For either ITE or BTE, most devices come with standard button batteries that must be replaced anywhere from 3-20 days. However, rechargeable batteries are becoming more common. Learn more about the pros and cons of rechargeable batteries.
Hearing aids use these parts to help pick up and amplify sound from your environment and channel it into your ear: microphone (detects the sound), amplifier (makes the sound stronger), speaker (sends the sound into your ear so that you can hear it), battery (provides power to the electronic parts).
According to a report by WHO, hearing loss ranks twelfth in the index of the global burden of disease, and the third most common cause of years lived with disability. The report also states that developing regions have the greatest number of individuals suffering from severe-to-profound hearing loss and these figures are likely to increase by 2050. The low- and middle-income regions can be targeted by market players to increase their revenue by providing affordable hearing aid devices for users in this region. WHO also stated that near about 2.5 billion people are going to experience disabling hearing loss. Additionally, the adult population is also growing exponentially, thus the demand for a hearing aid is expected to increase in the coming future. Continuous usage of headphones among the younger generation is increasing the risk of developing hearing loss in them. The growing recreational activities and the usage of loudspeakers in these activities will damage the eardrums of certain individuals. Thus, the future holds a lucrative opportunity for all the market players involved in the production of hearing aid.
Recent Industry Development In Hearing Aid
In August 2021, GN extends its Jabra Enhance™ line of hearing enhancement solutions. With this first-of-its-kind innovation technology, GN is providing true wireless earbuds with superior hearing technology to solve unmet user demands and empower millions of individuals to take the first step on their road to better hearing.
In July 2021, Amplifon a leading company in hearing solutions and services declared that it has signed an agreement to acquire Bay Audio Pty Limited. This acquisition will strengthen Amplifon’s position in the core Australian market. Bay Audio has a network of over 100 retail points located at high-traffic premiere shopping malls across the East Coast.
In November 2020, Oticon announced the launch of its new, revolutionary Oticon More hearing aids. These new hearing aids come with an entirely new way to support hearing loss i.e., Deep Neural Network (DNN). DNN supports the brain to work most naturally and effectively. With this hearing aid, one can easily handle a full sound scene such as a crowded party or a busy restaurant.
Current hearing aid technology with its innovations better meet needs of individuals who are hard of hearing. Hearing aids are primarily useful in improving the hearing and speech comprehension of people who have hearing loss that results from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear,