UK Hearing Aid Sales Drop During Lockdown in Q1 2021

Hearing instrument unit sales are down for the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 compared to the previous quarter, which is unsurprising due to the lockdown restrictions in the UK that ran throughout Spring this year and increased COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations at the start of the year.

In total approx. 326k units were sold between January and March of 2021, versus 451k units sold in Q4 (October – December) 2020.

Q1 saw approx. 248k hearing instruments sold in the NHS, a 23.4% decline on the previous year just before the first lockdown back in March 2020, down 30% on Q4 2020.

The private sector fared better than the public sector, but still showed a 6.7% decrease on Q1 2020, down 18.9% on Q4 2020.

Ireland follows a similar trajectory with just over 15.5k instruments sold in Q1, down 12.2% on Q4. Q1 shows a 6.8% decrease on units sold versus the same quarter last year.

“While the final quarter of 2020 saw a significant uplift in hearing aid sales, compared with this first quarter of 2021, the drop is nothing like the significant shortfalls of Q2 and Q3 during the lockdowns last year. Recovery is still going strong; the vaccination programme is well underway and pent-up demand for instruments is materialising, so we can expect to see a strong bounce back in this next quarter.”

–Paul Surridge, BIHIMA Chair  


Download the full market data results here.

As a voice for hearing technology, BIHIMA regularly monitors the market and releases the results of its members every quarter. To keep up to date with the latest hearing instrument market information sign up to receive BIHIMA’s quarterly results here.


BIHIMA represents the hearing instrument manufacturers of Britain and Ireland, working in partnership with other professional, trade, regulatory and consumer organisations within the health care and charitable sectors. We raise consumer awareness about the latest hearing technology, and aim to influence government and policy makers to improve the lives of people with hearing difficulties.

Source: BIHIMA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.