Ask the Audiologist

ReSound® Avance™ Hearing Enhancer

DISCONTINUED by ReSound, January 1, 2003. Sorry.

The hearing industry has tried to ignore the sales of mail-order hearing aids because the devices are sold with inflated claims and without medical or audiological supervision. The government has been trying to close down the operations, but they keep moving to different states and avoiding the law.

But the sales continue and so do the problems. A recent issue of the Hearing Journal talks about some of the problems. One patient discussed in the article, had a sizing sleeve (used to create the proper fit) come off in her ear, and had to have it surgically removed. She also experienced a bloody discharge and a perforated tympanic membrane. She was scheduled for more surgeries as the article was being written. According to the article, other brands solve the fit problem by having the customer take a cast of his own ears and send it back to the company. I wonder what happens if the casting material gets stuck in there, or some breaks off in the ear? More surgeries?

Well, ReSound Corporation noticed all of this and created a device designed to help the people who don't want a real hearing aid but do want some assistance. It is for people with a mild high frequency hearing loss. It uses a fairly sophisticated two channel circuit, however it cannot be adjusted like real hearing aids. ReSound bills it as being "like reading glasses for the ears".

The ReSound Avance™ is a small gadget that fits behind the ear and sends the sound into the ear with a small tube. It is nearly invisible and was sold only by audiologists. The idea here is that the ear will be checked for medical problems and the hearing will be checked for the proper fitting range. The suggested retail price was below most hearing aids, but above the mail order devices.

But ReSound discontinued the device and most audiologists have sold all of their units. SORRY.

The technology lives on and is used by many hearing aid manufacturers in "open fit" hearing aids designed to be small and inconspicuous yet solve real hearing problems. Ask your audiologist about open fit hearing aids if you think this idea is right for you.

Photos © by ReSound® Corporation 1999.