PLYMOUTH, MN--(Marketwire - October 20, 2010) - November is American Diabetes Month® and Miracle-Ear is joining in a nationwide call to action to involve individuals and organizations in the movement to Stop Diabetes®. Over the next several months, Miracle-Ear will sponsor the American Diabetes Association's educational and fundraising events such as walks, bike tours and Association consumer EXPO events. This national strategic partnership will help emphasize the urgency of reducing the devastating impact -- including hearing loss -- of diabetes.

Today, nearly 24 million U.S. children and adults -- nearly 8% of the population -- have diabetes, and another 57 million individuals have prediabetes. If current trends continue, one out of every three American children born today will face a future with diabetes. For some high-risk populations, the risk is one in two. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is a growing epidemic and is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on our country.

"Simple 'awareness' is not enough to change these statistics," says Rebecca Younk, audiologist for Miracle-Ear. "What we need now is action. Individuals need to make the lifestyle, diet and exercise changes that can help prevent Type 2 diabetes; and we need increased education and outreach about symptoms that can help people seek early treatment before serious complications develop."

Stop Diabetes is the movement to end the devastating toll that diabetes takes on the lives of millions of individuals and families across our nation. It will inspire and mobilize millions to take up the fight against diabetes.

Miracle-Ear is the first company in the hearing care industry to join the Association as a national strategic partner. Miracle-Ear will support the Stop Diabetes movement in order to shine a spotlight on the hearing-related risks of diabetes, as well as the Association's education, prevention and treatment initiatives.

"Diabetes doubles your risk of developing a hearing loss," Younk states. "Early diagnosis and treatment are critical in helping to minimize complications, including hearing loss. Since people with Type 2 diabetes frequently do not display any symptoms, hearing loss may be the first indicator that there may be a problem."

To focus attention on diabetes and its link to hearing loss, throughout the month of November, all 1,200+ Miracle-Ear locations nationwide will donate $5 toward the Stop Diabetes movement for each Free Hearing Test they conduct -- up to a maximum of $50,000. The test measures speech recognition in noise along with loudness discomfort levels; its purpose is to measure the degree of any possible hearing impairment.

"We hope that our involvement with the Stop Diabetes movement will inspire individuals to take meaningful action to Stop Diabetes," said Younk. The Stop Diabetes movement identifies four primary options that everyone can take: Share your story to inspire others; Act by volunteering and raising funds in your community; Learn the facts about diabetes management, nutrition, lifestyle and prevention; and Give your time and your talents, along with your financial support, to support education, outreach, advocacy and critical research for a cure.

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About Miracle-Ear
A trusted resource for hearing solutions for over 60 years, Miracle-Ear uses state-of-the-art technology to remove the barriers of hearing loss. The Plymouth, Minn.-based company specializes in customizable hearing solutions that feature discreet, comfortable products designed to meet each individual's hearing loss needs. Free hearing tests and consultations are available at all of the company's 1,200 locations across the U.S., many of which are in Sears stores. Franchise opportunities are available for those interested in running their own Miracle-Ear business with the support of a nationwide industry leader. 
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