Hearing loss is the inability to hear either partially or totally. The causes of hearing loss are age, heredity, recreational, recurrent middle ear infections, bacterial meningitis, building up of earwax on the ear canal, ruptured ear drum, and loud noises. Hearing loss impacts on the individual’s ability to communicate. Complications associated with hearing loss are high risk of dementia, reduced quality of life, depression, social withdrawal and isolation. People suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney diseases are at risk of hearing loss. By using hearing devices such as hearing implants and hearing aids, people with hearing loss can be benefited. Conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, central hearing loss and mixed hearing loss are the types of hearing loss. In conductive hearing loss passage of sound between the ear drum and inner ear is affected. Causes of conductive hearing loss are dysfunction of the Eustachian tube, damage to the hearing bones, foreign body trapped in the ear, otosclerosis and perforated ear drum. In sensorineural hearing loss the tiny hair cells in the inner ear is damaged. Causes of sensorineural hearing loss are meningitis, encephalitis, stroke, viral infection of the inner ear, medicines such as antibiotics and acoustic neuroma.
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Hearing implants are devices which are surgically inserted into the ear to stimulate the auditory nerve and are alternatives for hearing aids. One of the hearing implants is cochlear implant. Cochlear implants are electronic devices that are surgically implanted behind the ear. These devices stimulate the auditory nerve with the help of electrodes placed in the inner ear. Moreover, mid-ear implants are devices which use mechanical energy for the stimulation of structures of the inner ear. These are used by individuals who have skin problems, collapsed closed ear canals, earmould allergies or malformed ears. Furthermore, the bone anchored hearing aid is a device which is surgically implanted to help people with hearing loss. By transmitting the sound waves through the bones in skull it stimulates the cochlea. After sound signal is received by cochlea, the information gets converted into neural signal and sent to brain, where it is recognized as sound. Bone anchoring hearing aid uses a titanium implant. This titanium implant is placed in the skull bone. Another type of implant is auditory brainstem implant. Auditory brainstem implants are used by the individuals who have profound sensorineural hearing loss. This implant bypasses both the cochlea and the hearing nerve.
The major factor responsible for the growth of hearing implant market is increase in prevalence of geriatric population combined with hearing loss. For instance, as per WHO, currently there are 360 million in the world with disabling hearing loss. Furthermore, increase in the geriatric population will further boost the hearing implants market growth. According to WHO, in 2015, 900 million people were 60 years of age or older and this number is expected to reach 2 billion by 2050.Moreover, the market players are customizing their products to attracting their customers which will lead in market growth of hearing implants. However, high cost associated with hearing implant devices can hamper the growth of hearing implants market.
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Product launch is the key strategy followed by the major players in the hearing implants market to gain competitive advantage over other players and increase their market share. For instance, in September 2016, Cochlear Limitedobtained FDA approval for its new hearing loss solution,Kanso. Kanso is simple, smart and discreet hearing solution which works by converting sound into electrical signals and passes them to the brain. It is useful in treating severe to profound hearing loss. By the launch of Kanso, Cochlear Limited will gain competitive advantage and more market share.
Themajor players in the hearing implants market are Sonova AG, MED-EL, Cochlear Limited, William Demant Holding A/S, Envoy Medical Corporation, Nurotron Biotechnology Co., Ltd., andMICROSON S.A.
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