Washington, DC — According to statistics compiled by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), looking at all of 2011 (Q1-Q3) thus far, hearing aid sales are 2.26% above last year’s figures.

Specifically, hearing aid sales included a 1.85% unit increase for the private sector and a 3.90% increase for the Veterans Administration (VA).

Hearing instrument unit sales during the third quarter continued to grow, albeit slowly, with private (non-VA) sector dispensers experiencing a 1.1% increase in sales and the VA dispensing about the same number of units (0.27%) compared to the same period last year. When private sector and VA sales are combined, the hearing aid market saw an increase of 0.94% in the third quarter, compared to a growth rate of 2.36% for the same period in 2010.

BTEs constituted 69.2% of all sales during the first three quarters of the year, and made up 70.5% of all units dispensed in the private sector and 66.0% in the VA.

HIA statistics suggest that, when looking only at BTEs, mini-BTE external receiver (eg, RIC/RITE) devices and traditional receiver/size devices account for almost equal sales shares—about 37% each—of the BTE market.

In other words, these BTE types make up roughly a quarter each (ie, one-half combined) of the entire hearing aid market, by units. Mini-BTEs with traditional receiver configurations constitute about 21% of all BTEs sold, and only a small (4%) percentage of BTEs were of the larger-battery RIC/RITE configuration.

SOURCE: Hearing Industries Association (HIA)