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Diabetics Twice as Likely to Have Hearing Loss; HearUSA Centers to Offer Free Hearing Screening and Diabetes Video in March

West Palm Beach, FL - February 23, 2010 - All of the more than 180 HearUSA (Amex:EAR) company-owned hearing care centers will be offering free hearing-loss screenings, along with a free 80-minute Living With Diabetes video produced by the American Diabetes Association, to anyone with diabetes during the entire month of March.

People with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss than those who do not have diabetes, according to a National Institutes of Health landmark study. The study’s researchers recommended that all men and women with diabetes have their hearing tested.

The HearUSA centers are located in California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“Based on the findings of the NIH study, five million Americans living with diabetes also have hearing loss that, in many cases, remains undetected and untreated,” said Dr. Cindy Beyer, audiologist and senior vice president of HearUSA, one of America’s largest hearing care and hearing aids companies.

The study linking diabetes and hearing loss was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In its editorial, the publication said, “In many cases of mild to moderate hearing loss, patients are not aware of what they cannot hear; thus, screening for hearing loss in individuals at risk could lead to interventions that would affect their ability to communicate, their productivity and their safety.”

Untreated hearing loss is serious: Dr. Beyer said studies have linked untreated hearing loss to fatigue, stress and depression, avoidance of social situations, reduced job performance and earning power, and diminished health.

“Hearing loss affects virtually every aspect of a person’s life, making it all the harder for people with diabetes to cope with their disease,” said Sergei Kochkin, executive director of the Better Hearing Institute. “A hearing check is invaluable in determining whether or not someone with diabetes does have a hearing loss and will help to ensure that they get the treatment they need.

To locate a HearUSA Hearing Care Center in California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania and to schedule an appointment to receive a free hearing loss screening and the free diabetes video, go to www.hearusa.com or call 1-800-698-6767.

About HearUSA:

HearUSA is the recognized leader in hearing care for the nation's top managed care organizations through its more than 180 company-owned centers and network of more than 2,000 hearing care providers. HearUSA is the nation's only hearing care network accredited by URAC, an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

HearUSA is also the administrator of the AARP Hearing Care program, designed to help millions of Americans aged 50+ who have hearing loss.

For more information about HearUSA and hearing care, please visit www.hearusa.com, or go to www.hearingshop.com for a wide selection of hearing-related products available for purchase online.

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