(a) Every licensee engaged in the practice of dealing in or fitting of hearing aids shall, prior to the sale or the fitting of a hearing aid intended to be worn or used by any person under eighteen years of age, first ascertain whether such person has within the next preceding six months been examined for the defective or impaired hearing condition sought to be relieved by an otolaryngologist or other duly licensed physician. If such person has been so examined, the licensee shall, prior to the sale or fitting of such hearing aid, obtain from such otolaryngologist or physician written authority to fit a hearing aid. If such person has not been so examined, the licensee shall not proceed to the sale or fitting of a hearing aid until after such person has been so examined. If the prospective user is eighteen years of age or older, the hearing aid dispenser may afford the prospective user an opportunity to waive the medical evaluation requirement provided that the hearing aid dispenser:
(1) Informs the prospective user that the exercise of the waiver is not in the user's best health interest;
(2) Does not in any way actively encourage the prospective user to waive such a medical evaluation;
(3) Affords the prospective user the opportunity to sign the following statement: I have been advised by (hearing aid dispenser's name) that the Food and Drug Administration has determined that my best health interest would be served if I had a medical evaluation by a licensed physician, preferably one who specializes in diseases of the ear, before purchasing a hearing aid. I do not wish a medical evaluation before purchasing a hearing aid.
(b) Prior to the sale of a hearing aid, every licensee shall be required to advise in writing, in the manner and form prescribed by the board, the person to whom he intends to sell or fit with such hearing aid that such person's best interest would be served by consulting an otolaryngologist or other physician specializing in diseases of the ear, or any other physician duly licensed to practice medicine in this state, if any of the following conditions are found upon examination of such person:
(1) Visible congenital or traumatic deformity of the ear;
(2) History of active ear discharge within the previous ninety days;
(3) History of a sudden or rapidly progressive hearing loss within the previous ninety days;
(4) Acute or chronic dizziness;
(5) Unilateral hearing loss of sudden or recent onset within the previous ninety days; or
(6) Significant air-bone gap.
(c) A copy of any writing or form required to be given to a prospective purchaser or other person by the terms of this section shall be retained in the records of the licensee for a period of seven years following the issuance of each writing.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
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