General Info — Movie Theater Volume Levels

Discussion in 'Support' started by Zimichael, Apr 9, 2015.

    1. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      I was doing a little research for a friend and came upon this ref. volume levels in movie theaters. Seeing as I have not been in one for maybe 15 years I was way off on my 'estimate' of the potentially damaging volume levels therein...This article is more than sobering and though @jeffie7 posted reference to it in a thread in late March, I thought it a good idea to highlight the facts more clearly. An extract below:

      http://kxan.com/2014/02/14/testing-movie-theater-volume-too-loud/

      Dangerously Loud?

      “The thing about loud exposure is it doesn’t have to hurt you to be damaging to your ear.”— Dr. John Bedolla

      How loud is too loud? Dr. John Bedolla, an emergency room doctor with Seton Healthcare put the impact of loud movies on the ear in context, “Human beings did not experience sound louder than 90-100 decibels for much of human history until the invention of gun powder and machinery. So, for the vast majority of human existence, our ear has never adapted to loud noises.”

      Dr. Bedolla referred to a recent report in the Ear, Nose and Throat Journal showing just how loud movies have become.

      “Certain types of high-spectacle movies, such as Transformers, have decibel levels of 90 for almost the entire movie and have decibel levels of 120 for significant periods and at some points get to 130 decibels. Now 130 decibels is a jet engine at about 10 meters,” says Dr. Bedolla.


      That last sentence is stupefying...Come to your own conclusions!

      Best, Zimichael
       
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    2. jeffie7
      Wishful

      jeffie7 Member

      Location:
      Maryland USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2003
      Everyone likes it loud, it just causes you to get use to the volume and turn it up even louder which causes you to get use to.... why can't people just enjoy concerts/movies at normal levels?

      I hate the movies because of sound levels. Wish I knew what to do with my son as he ages and wants to go with his friends, how to you tell a younger person to wear hearing protection at a movie? *shrugs*
       
    3. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Surprised that investigative journalists settled for dB meter readings on their smart phones. Those aps aren't real accurate.
      But I totally agree with the piece's conclusions: movies are too d**n loud. Those noise levels are dangerous. And yet there isn't much being done to change that.

      If states mandate bicycle helmet and car seat laws for kids, why not do the same for movies? Require visible ear protection for minor children. They may not like it (they don't like wearing helmets, either). But parents will insist if they risk a ticket and/or fine.
       
    4. jeffie7
      Wishful

      jeffie7 Member

      Location:
      Maryland USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2003
      Just need a lawsuit or two to come out from hearing loss related to movies being too loud...

      Hard to prove unless it's documented

      Then again... That would only get them to add a warning as you enter the building.
       
    5. Mark Beehre
      Facebooking

      Mark Beehre Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wellington, New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008 // 11/2014
      It certainly makes you stop and think aye....

      Thanks for the share Zimichael.
       
    6. James White
      Anime

      James White Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toulouse, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Maybe loud music. Not sure.
      What's even worse is that going to the cinema in france costs 10 to 12€... in the last 10 years i've been maybe 2 or 3 times to the cinema.

      Luckily, we have independant film cinemas where i live and their sound is just great, they will never put it a full blast like the other mainstream cinemas :)
       
    7. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      This is just, like, mind-boggling to me.

      Thank goodness that home theater technology has come so far...
       
    8. JoyBenz007
      Doubtful

      JoyBenz007 Member

      Location:
      Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Anyone have an opinion on going to the movies??? Too loud? Don't worry about it??
       
    9. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      If I were you, and if I wanted to be part of that 67% group, I would eliminate all sources of possible risk. I would not go to a movie theater.

      This forum is filled with posts of people who found out the hard way that taking risks like that is not a good idea. For example
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/movie-theater-wayyy-too-loud.17418/

      After I pressed a loud phone to my bad ear more than a month ago, my T switched from a hiss to a harder to ignore high pitch tone. Our ears have been compromised - what healthy people won't even notice, can do a lot of damage to our ears. We are given only a limited number of second chances.
       
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    10. JoyBenz007
      Doubtful

      JoyBenz007 Member

      Location:
      Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks Bill I'll keep that in mind
       
    11. Julien87
      Balanced

      Julien87 Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
      Hi Joy, it depends on the theater. Some play movies very loud. Some don't. I generally don't wear plugs at my local theater, except for the most intense scenes of some action movies.
       
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    12. Sweetiepiestef

      Sweetiepiestef Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/26/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure maybe ETD?
      Maybe bring ear plugs just in case? I do not think T should stop you from living and doing things you want to do. Mind you my T is new so I do not know much about it yet and will continue to research but I went to the movies recently and it was fine :) Didn't hurt my head or anything. Everyone is different and everyone's T is different.
       
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    13. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Your T volume didn't get louder. But that doesn't necessarily mean that that trip to the movie theater hasn't reduced the chance that you will spontaneously recover from T.
       
    14. GamingT

      GamingT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I saw an Audiologist for my hearing exam couple of weeks ago, who himself has tinnitus due to being in the military, and he told me that movie theaters are fine so long as it is not the extreme cinemas that deliberately have the volume turned up. He told me that you need to be exposed to volume of at least 85 decibels continuously for at least an hour in order to damage your hearing. So, the 10 minute big explosion finale shouldn't hurt so long as rest of movie is below 85 decibels.

      Since I am 2 months in and still scared/paranoid, I am erroring on the side of caution and just renting movies at home.
       
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    15. MidnightOilAudio
      Wishful

      MidnightOilAudio Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      130db at a movie theatre? I don't buy it. And where are they measuring that? It may be 130db with the meter next to the speaker, but is that where you're sitting?

      I am of the personal opinion that if you don't already have H, just wear earplugs and you will be absolutely fine. However I am always open to being shown evidence that I am wrong.
       
    16. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from viral infection
      Theaters near me have sensory safe showings where the volume is turned down and the lights are not completely turned off. The target audience is anyone with autism or sensory issues with sound, and there are showings for both kids and adults.

      Maybe look and see if there's one near you!
       
    17. Jim51042

      Jim51042 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/28/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphone use
      The scientific community isn't positive yet but they think that guidance is dated and recently discovered as possibly inaccurate. The reason is at sound levels above 85 dB for any amount of time damages the nerve connections (hair cell are a little more hardy). So repeated exposures at these level may reduce the connections. See Liberman's paper on cochlear synaptopathy in mice or the follow on hidden hearing loss paper http://www.jneurosci.org/content/31/38/13452
       
    18. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      This is true for healthy ears.

      This forum is filled with stories of people finding out the hard way that your compromised ears are more vulnerable.

      I pressed a loud phone to my bad ear more than a month ago, and since that time hiss was replaced with a high pitch tone. I bet your audiologist would claim that a phone can't make a noise loud enough to produce any damage in less than a second. And yet I am living proof that it can happen. Others have horror stories that are similar (thunderstorm, weed whacker, etc.) T is complex - there is more to it than just damage to hearing.
       
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