Hearing is the ability to perceive sound. A person affected by hearing impairment has difficulty in identifying or perceiving sound clearly due to auditory problems. Such impairment may be unilateral or bilateral. The intensity of hearing loss can be segmented as mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe, and profound. Mild level of hearing impairment refers to difficulty in perceiving soft sounds such as whispers. The moderate level refers to the incapability to clearly hear sound in normal conversations. Profound deafness is a condition where the patient is unable to perceive any sound irrespective of its intensity. The causes for hearing impairment can be broadly classified into two categories viz. congenital factors and acquired factors. Some of the congenital factors are heredity, congenital defects such as anomalies of ear, nose or throat, viral infections during pregnancy such as rubella infection and premature birth. Acquired factors leading to hearing impairment can be eardrum perforation, excessive earwax, otosclerosis or ear ossicle dislocation, prolonged exposure to loud noise and certain medications that may result in ear damage as an associated side-effect.

Major Key Player
• ntuitive Surgical Inc.
• Accuray Incorporated
• Mazor Robotics Inc.
• Medrobotics Corporation
• Stryker Corporation
• THINK Surgical Inc.
• SRI International,
• Auris Surgical Robotics Inc

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Audiology Devices Market Segmentation
By Product:
• Hearing Aids, By Type
o In-The-Ear Aids (ITE)
o Canal Hearing Aids
o Behind-The-Ear Aids (BTE)
o Receiver-In-The-Ear Aids (RITE)
• Hearing Aids, By Technology
o Analog Hearing Aids
o Digital Hearing Aids
• Bone Anchored Hearing Aids
• Diagnostic Devices
o Tympanometers
o Audiometers
o Otoscopes
• Cochlear Implants

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Hearing impairment can severely affect the development of children at different stages. This can lead to insufficient language development with incorrect pronunciation and unclear speech. Such children may have behavioral and emotional problems as a result of difficulty in verbally expressing themselves. This can lead to poor self-image and lack of self-confidence at an early age. The academic performance also deteriorates significantly due to the inability to receive and perceive messages correctly. As per the data revealed by the National Institute for Deafness and Other communication Disorders (NIDCD) in December 2016, around 2 to 3 in every 1000 children in the U.S., are born with a recognizable degree of hearing loss in one or sometimes in both ears.
Elder people over 60 years of age are highly susceptible to hearing impairment. Presbycusis is the most common form of sensorineural hearing loss in the elderly people. It affects the ability to hear higher frequency sounds. Thus, an elderly person who is suffering from hearing loss may develop depression due to the social isolation.

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