According to statistics generated by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), Washington, DC, hearing aid net unit sales in the United States increased by 2.5% during the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, totaling 1,000,653 units—the second time unit volume has ever exceeded 1 million in a quarter (the first time was in Q2 2018). Sales in the private/commercial sector increased by 1.5%, while dispensing activity at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which made up 19% of the entire market, increased by 6.7%.
Last year, hearing aid sales rose by 5.7% in the first quarter, and 5.3% for the full year (for the private sector, 7.2% for the first quarter and 5.95% for the full year), so the Q1 sales statistics reflect a fairly strong base from the year before. In general, the market has been increasing by about 2-4% annually. (Click here for a review of 2018 US hearing aid sales.)
More than three-quarters (76.6%) of all hearing aids sold in the first quarter were receiver-in-the-canal (RIC/RITE) type devices, which are a sub-type of behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids‚ and 10.4% were traditional BTEs. Thus, BTE-style hearing aids made up 87% of the US market in the first quarter. In 2018, BTEs made up 85% of the total market, with RICs constituting 72.5% of all hearing aids dispensed.