CBS Sacramento producer Shawn Boyd conducted an interview with KISS frontman Paul Stanley before the band’s headline show at Raley Field in Sacramento, California on May 29, 2011. Stanley who serves as ambassador spokesperson for the world-renowned non-profit House Research Institute, spoke about the epidemic in hearing loss amongst teens. He advised that “there’s a better way to listen” through the use of earplugs and keeping personal listening devices at safe levels. Check out the chat below.
In a recent interview with Celebrity Extra, Stanley stated about how he got involved with the House Research Institute’s initiative, “It just seemed a natural progression, a natural fit. I’ve been deaf in one ear my whole life. I was born like that. Over the past 10 years or so, some technology has come available that can help in a case like mine. I became associated, or at least familiar, with some of the people at House Research Institute. In the last year, they’ve really made me aware of some things that are pretty staggering. That’s the epidemic of hearing loss affecting people in this country. You have a 15 percent rise in hearing loss in the past 10 years. That’s more than 37 million people. As far as young people, teens, there is a 30 percent increase in just the past 15 years. But that is pretty staggering.
“The problem with it is that once it happens, there is nothing you can do about it, and sometimes you don’t even realize it is happening. It’s very insidious, and the idea is to educate people that you can still listen to loud music and save your hearing. The problem with hearing loss is that it takes so many forms. You have people who can hear what you are saying but can’t understand what you are saying. That is the way you lose certain frequencies, which is very common. So, imagine being able to hear somebody talk but it sounds like they have a blanket in front of their face. Another situation is a condition called tinnitus. With that you can have anything from clicking to buzzing to ringing in your ears that never goes away.
“When you listen to loud music, most people will hear ringing in their ears. That’s not to be taken lightly. That’s your ears telling you that you are assaulting them in a way that can cause permanent damage. I think it’s time that people are a little bit more aware of all of this and take it more seriously. I listen to loud music almost nightly, and my hearing is terrific. But I’ve always, always worn earplugs. Music is so loud in concerts and in clubs that even with earplugs in you’re still going to hear everything clearly. You’re still going to feel the vibrations through your body.”
When asked what advice he would give to others looking to protect their hearing, Stanley said, “I’m a fan of over-the-ear headphones, which are kind of larger. But when I listen with those, I can put in an earplug and still blast music. What it does is it blocks out those really harmful frequencies but allows me to really experience the music, not only in an audio sense but also physically. Earbuds are great too. The problem with earbuds is that they really tend to go directly into your ear, blocking everything out. No matter which you are using, if you are not using some sort of device to block the sound, you really don’t want to turn it up more than 60 percent of what it is capable of, because most of these units now are capable of turning your brain to jelly.”
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