Randy Baker, Miracle-Ear franchisee and owner of a hearing center in Wilmington, has been working in the hearing aid industry since 1990. His hearing centers are very much a family business – his brother is a fellow owner and franchisee and his sister is their office manager. At his hearing centers, he employs two other hearing consultants. One consultant has been working with him for over twenty years, and the other is a bit newer to the industry, having worked for about six years.
Baker’s hearing center has many different types of tools in order to provide patients in Wilmington with hearing tests. In addition to the video otoscope, which every Miracle-Ear center across the United States uses, Baker also uses something called “real ear verification.” Real ear verification is a process that takes measurements down inside the ear and fits the patient’s hearing aid to their hearing loss, while the device is actually in the ear. Also, all testing conducted at Baker’s Wilmington hearing center is performed in a sound booth or sound enclosure, which helps with the accuracy of testing. Baker feels that accurate testing is extremely important.
Baker’s Miracle-Ear locations get involved with their local community in many different ways. Most often, the consultants attend health fairs to educate and screen local residents about the importance of hearing loss and hearing testing. Baker and his consultants bring the video otoscope machine and conduct brief hearing screenings on people who express interest in getting their hearing checked. They will pass out literature to residents to educate them as well.
When it comes to receiving hearing aids in Wilmington, Baker says that the biggest thing that people should try to accept is the fact that they are suffering from a hearing loss, and then be willing to fix the problem. “It’s very easy to be in denial about hearing loss being a problem,” he says. A lot of times, it’s not the patient who has to repeat themselves, it’s the other person, so often the hearing loss might not really be noticeable to the patient, but instead everyone else who is close to them and has to communicate with them regularly.
According to Baker, improvement from hearing aids varies; often it depends on the individual. He says that for some people, hearing aids make all the difference between hearing and not hearing. But for many other patients, it’s the difference between being able to understand and not understanding.