Published Date : Mar 16, 2016
In the U.S., as per the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children born with a detectable level of hearing loss which is present in either one ear or both the ears. Among children, hearing loss is a common sensory disability. Contrarily, most children that are born with hearing disabilities are born to parents have normal hearing abilities.
Hearing impairments among children is observed either at birth and may be progressive or the condition may have a late-onset. Some reasons of progressive or late-onset of hearing disabilities are infections, noise-induced hearing loss, environmental and hereditary factors, illness, and trauma. Hearing loss of any degree if left untreated adversely affects learning abilities, speech, and overall psychological development of children.
In children, the two major types of hearing impairments are conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. The former condition happens due to blockage in the ear as a result of earwax or glue ear or due to obstructed mobility of ossicles. The condition of sensorineural hearing loss is caused due to cochlea or decay of nerves or hair cells in the ear. Conductive hearing loss is generally associated with otitis media, which is a condition of inflammation of the middle ear. Otitis media is associated with the buildup of fluid and is a common ailment among infants and young children.
Hearing aids are electronic devices designed to amplify sound for individuals that have hearing disabilities or hearing impairments. Typically, these devices are used for amplifying soft speech and environmental sound. Microphone, loudspeaker, amplifier, and battery are the components of medical devices each of which has a pivotal function to magnify the entire listening process for the device wearer.
In the listening process using hearing aids, microphone identifies sound, the role of amplifier is to amplify the sound intensity so that the experience is audible and comfortable for the user. Nevertheless, hearing aids have limitations that these cannot control background sound disturbances and sound magnification at high level, which may be uncomfortable for the wearer of the device.
Currently, North America is the largest market for hearing aids due to the increasing prevalence of hearing loss among children and presence of hearing loss diagnostic centers for adult and children.