Hearing Aid Statistics


Hearing loss, the inability to hear sounds in the standard range of loudness, is a natural part of life. Among Americans 80 years and older, more than 90% have hearing loss in at least one ear, and over 81% have hearing loss in both ears, suggesting it’s more common to lose your hearing at that age than to keep it fully intact.

Hearing aids help people who are hard of hearing better understand and communicate with the world around them. Though they are the most popular hearing-assistive device, most American adults who have hearing loss don’t use hearing aids. As the industry creates more discrete styles, improves digital technology and expands sales through over-the-counter options, experts project that from 2024 to 2030, the global market size will grow by a compound annual growth rate of 6.78%.

Key Takeaways:

  • Around 60.7 million Americans ages 12 and older have hearing loss in at least one ear, and nearly 38.2 million have hearing loss in both ears.
  • Mild hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss.
  • Only 6% of American adults use hearing aids.
  • Hearing aids can cost anywhere from $199 to $4,000 each. The price varies by hearing aid style and technological capabilities.
  • The global hearing aids market size was $7.96 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow to $12.57 billion by 2030.

How Common is Hearing Loss in the U.S.?

About 60.7 million people in the U.S. ages 12 and older have hearing loss in at least one ear, and almost 38.2 million have hearing loss in both ears, which is known as bilateral hearing loss. That’s 22.7% and 14.3% of the population, respectively.

Unsurprisingly, the prevalence of hearing loss increases with age. Only 0.18% of people ages 12 to 19 have bilateral hearing loss compared to 54.62% of people ages 70 to 79 and 81.47% of people ages 80-plus. 

Most people who are hard of hearing have mild hearing loss — only about 2% of 70- to 79-year-olds have profound hearing loss, while nearly 38% said they had mild hearing loss. The 80-and-older cohort is the only age group with a higher prevalence of moderate hearing loss than mild hearing loss.

How Many Americans Use Hearing Aids or Other Devices?

About 11% of American adults use devices to help them hear. Of this, 6% of people used hearing aids, 2% had cochlear implants and 3% used hearing-assistive technology (like FM systems, hearing loops and amplified telephones) in 2021, according to a survey by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Types of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids have different sizes, shapes and amplification capabilities, and each style has its pros and cons. For example, larger hearing aids allow for better amplification and work well for growing children, as they aren’t custom fitted. Smaller styles, on the other hand, are more discrete but have weaker amplification, a shorter battery life and can be difficult to adjust.

According to the NIDCD, the main three hearing aid styles are behind the ear (BTE), in the ear (ITE) and in the canal (ITC). Details of each are as follows:

  • BTE hearing aids are the largest style. These have two parts: a casing that rests behind the ear and an earmold that sits inside and around the ear canal opening. This style can work for all people with hearing loss.
    • Open-fit BTE hearing aids swap the earmold for a thin tube and allows the wearer to hear their own voice normally and also prevents earwax buildup.
  • ITE hearing aids, the second-largest style, are custom made to fit around the user’s ear canal opening. People with mild to severe hearing loss can benefit from using this style.
  • ITC hearing aids are the smallest and least visible style — they sit inside the ear canal and work best for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
    • Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids are almost invisible, as they sit completely inside the ear canal.

Analog vs. Digital

Analog hearing aids make all sounds louder by converting sound waves into electrical signals, then amplifying them. Some analog hearing aids have different noise-level settings the user can switch between with the press of a button. They’re typically less expensive, but also less common than digital aids.

Digital hearing aids work by changing soundwaves into code then amplifying sounds according to its programming. They have an unlimited number of settings and can lower background noise, make the user’s voice sound better and prevent the “buzzing sound” analog hearing aids make with smartphones, according to the Centre for Hearing. Still, they’re the more expensive option when compared to analog hearing aids.

Over-the-Counter vs. Prescription

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 allowed consumers to buy hearing aids over the counter (OTC)—just like they would cold medicine. In August 2022, the FDA authorized the purchase of certain hearing aids directly from pharmacies, stores, and online retailers, with no doctor visit or prescription required. According to the rule, OTC hearing aids are “intended to address perceived mild to moderate hearing loss in adults age 18 or older.”

The FDA regulates both OTC and prescription hearing aids as medical devices. You can purchase OTC hearing aids directly from the companies that make them, but you must buy prescription hearing aids from a clinic after taking a hearing test.

Prescription hearing aids are usually more expensive because they include fittings and ongoing adjustments as part of the package. OTC aids are more affordable (prices are expected to drop even further in 2024).

How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost?

The price of hearing aids varies by style and technological capabilities. Prescription hearing aids are more expensive, generally costing $1,000 to $4,000 per hearing aid, but the price typically includes a fitting, follow-up visits and device maintenance. People can now also purchase hearing aids over the counter from stores such as Walgreens, CVS and Best Buy because of a Biden administration executive order. These are more affordable, running in the range of about $199 to $3,000.

Hearing Aid Market Projections

In 2023, the global hearing aid market size was worth about $7.96 billion, according to a report by Grand View Research, a figure they project to increase to $12.57 billion in 2030.

BTE hearing aids were the most popular style in 2023, making up 40% of the market, but the report forecasts that ITC hearing aid styles will see the most growth from 2024 to 2030. At 93% of the market share, digital hearing aids dominated analog hearing aids — a trend anticipated to continue in the coming years. 

Though retail stores made up 71% of the global hearing aids market revenue in 2023, the report projects that e-pharmacy sales will rise as millennials and Gen Z age.


What’s the average cost of a hearing aid?

The average cost of a hearing aid is about $2,300, but device type and features account for a wide variance in prices.

How long do hearing aids last?

Experts say hearing aids can last anywhere from three to seven years. Life span can vary based on the style, material and how frequently the user cleans their hearing aids.

What’s the difference between a hearing aid and a cochlear implant?Cochlear implants are more invasive than hearing aids — they’re surgically implanted above the outer ear. They signal the auditory nerve directly, as opposed to hearing aids which make sounds louder for wearers. Only those who are severely to profoundly hard of hearing use cochlear implants, according to the NIDCD.


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Hearing Aids.” National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders. Evaluated April 19, 2024.

Hearing aids: How to choose the right one.” Mayo Clinic. Evaluated April 19, 2024.

Types of Hearing Aids.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Evaluated April 19, 2024.

Analog Vs Digital Hearing Aids: Which One’s Better Than The Other.” Centre for Hearing. Evaluated April 19, 2024.

The Price of Hearing Aids.” The Hearing Industries Association. Evaluated April 19, 2024.

FACT SHEET: Cheaper Hearing Aids Now in Stores Thanks to Biden-⁠Harris Administration Competition Agenda.” The White House. Evaluated April 19, 2024.

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How long do hearing aids last?” Healthy Hearing. Evaluated April 25, 2024.

Cochlear Implants.” National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders. Evaluated April 19, 2024.

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