Attorney General Urges Public to Prioritize Hearing Health

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hearing-aids

Attorney General Chris Carr is highlighting May as Better Hearing and Speech Month, emphasizing the importance of regular hearing evaluations and offering guidance for those considering hearing aids.

Carr emphasized, “We encourage all consumers, particularly older Georgians, to consult with a medical professional and do their research before purchasing any sort of medical device or product to address hearing loss or other common health concerns.”

In 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced a new regulatory category for over-the-counter hearing aids. This expansion includes medically prescribed hearing aids fitted by audiologists or doctors, alongside personal sound amplification products. Carr pointed out that consumers might not fully grasp the distinctions in usage or return policies between over-the-counter aids and traditional devices.

Highlighting the broader health implications, Carr noted untreated hearing loss’s potential impact on overall well-being, particularly regarding dementia, depression, and falls among aging populations. Utilizing hearing aids could mitigate such risks.

To aid consumers in navigating hearing aid purchases, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division provided practical advice:

  1. Seek a hearing evaluation from a medical professional such as an otolaryngologist or otologist, who can advise on proper usage and associated risks, and screen for underlying conditions contributing to hearing loss.
  2. Verify the credibility of hearing aid sources through the Better Business Bureau’s website.
  3. Understand the service level accompanying hearing aid purchases, ensuring clarity on pricing, additional charges, warranties, and refund policies.
  4. Discern between personal sound amplification devices or over-the-counter aids and medically prescribed options, as the former may exacerbate hearing loss if not used correctly.
  5. Stay informed on hearing aid regulations by monitoring updates on the FDA’s website.

By adhering to these guidelines, consumers can make informed decisions regarding their hearing health, thereby enhancing their overall quality of life.

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