Is It Safe to Go to the Movie Theatre with Hearing Protection?

Discussion in 'Support' started by aot, Feb 26, 2020.

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Is it safe to see a movie at the movie theatre with hearing protection?

  1. Yes, provided the hearing protection is used correctly

  2. No, not even with hearing protection

  3. Depends on the movie

Results are only viewable after voting.
    1. aot
      Artistic

      aot Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016. Worsened 11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound induced.
      One of the most difficult things about living with tinnitus, I think, is the changes to lifestyle one has to make. No more motorcycles, no nightclubs, no loud bars.
      For some people it can basically mean being forced to find a whole new identity. It can be so overwhelming, you can become a recluse if not careful.

      Thankfully, I haven't really struggled with this as severely as other users. I always thought motorcycles were too loud, Bars and Nightclubs were never my scene. I've never been to a concert in my life, and I'm not a huge fan of music anyway.

      I've only been to a handful of loud events, the most recent of which (November 2019) worsened my Tinnitus. Instead of the mild, near silent variety that I've had since 2016, my tinnitus is now moderate. Nowhere near as intrusive as what you maybe be experiencing, but it still causes me some anxiety.

      The thing is... I love movies. It's second only to my love of literature. I have countless happy memories of going to the cinema.

      Since Casino Royale, my father and I have promised to see every new Bond movie in the theatre.

      Some friends want to get together? We'll see a movie. I had a bad day? I'll see a movie.

      Watching them at home is still fun, but not the same.

      But since I now have to more careful with my ears, I worry I might never get to experience that again.

      I have foam 32 dB earplugs, and 20 dB Musician's earplugs.

      Is it safe for me to see a film using either one of this plugs? Any recommendations? Or should I just give up on the cinema experience?


      (Please be civil. I know such discussions can be heated, but remember that this is a support forum. We're all in the same boat.)
       
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    2. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      My tinnitus is not sound induced, so I don't worry about this too much... but if movies are your passion, then you could make it your own "project" to set things up so they work for you.

      For example: just to be safe, I stopped using headsets after my onset of tinnitus. But I still wanted to play games, and I needed communication for that. So I changed my setup: bought an omnidirectional microphone, altered the position of my equipment, fine-tuned everything until it was working correctly. Then I could still enjoy my passion without worrying about headsets.

      I don't know how your financial situation is, but you might be able to so something similar. Reserve a room that is not in use (much). Get a large screen in a darkened room with a nice HD beamer and surround system. Set things up so that the audio settings match your own safety level. Invite friends over whenever you want and enjoy your private cinema.

      If this is currently out of reach financially, then you can always make it a life goal. Invest in opportunities that help you reach this goal, make it as big or small as you want. Heck, in twenty years you might have expanded and own your own entertainment studio...

      Ok, I might exaggerate a bit here, but I hope the concept of what I mean is clear. Don't let this condition limit your enjoyment, but build up life in such a way that it all works in spite of it.
       
    3. Jack V

      Jack V Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Something Wicked This Way Comes
      I too love movies, but I've found that ever since I set up a kind of home theater situation, I see fewer movies in theaters.

      I like watching them at home. :cool:

      Large, high def TV screens have gotten so good, along with complementary sound systems, that I'd almost suggest you set something up at home if you can, and make that your primary space to watch movies. You can control the volume on everything, movie to movie, or within movies, so you can enjoy them without stress of exacerbating your tinnitus.
       
    4. OnceUponaTime
      Busy

      OnceUponaTime Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I go to the drive in. :D;)
       
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    5. Gabriel
      Balanced

      Gabriel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I focused on verifying if I had tinnitus
      Depends on if your tinnitus is due to sound exposure I guess. Also I used to get tinnitus after going to an outside party with earplugs on (like whistle, pure tone tinnitus) but now I can go to bars with earplugs and have no problems at all afterward.

      Cinema? I did go without protection already 3 or 4 times, went perfect, no spikes, no new sounds, no worsening.

      But everyone is different.

      But keep in mind a cinema is not that noisy and also it's not constant high level, and that parameters is important.

      Try with earplugs, but I doubt you will hear properly because it will be so quiet...
       
    6. Lilah
      Bashful

      Lilah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've gotten more selective about which movies I see, but I still go to the movies with hearing protection.
       
    7. Star64
      Kick ass

      Star64 Member

      Location:
      Melbourne Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I would not give up on going to the cinemas aot. Sure, with tinnitus we do have to protect our ears but we must try and continue to live life as best we can.

      That often means making some adjustments such as wearing ear plugs to the cinema.

      I went this week to see 1917 with my husband, I took ear plugs and I was fine. My tinnitus was still roaring away as usual but I really enjoyed the movie and I am glad I went.

      To be truthful I even removed the ear plugs after 30 minutes and I survived the movie without any problems.
       
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    8. astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earwax/Botched Irrigation/Noise Trauma
      Personally I wouldn’t risk it but I also have a bias, as seeing a movie about a month after initial tinnitus onset a few years ago caused me to develop hyperacusis as well as other ear issues such as clicking ears and a feeling of fullness that persisted for several months. Didn’t worsen the tinnitus itself though.

      Ironically the movie I saw was A Quiet Place, lol. I really thought that was funny.

      in the end I think if you have a passion for something, which you seem to, there’s likely a way to make it work.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. MRItechssuck
      Disappointed

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild 2000-2018 sev 10/17/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      Movies, in the US anyway, can be very loud... I’d wear earplugs... I did even after my tinnitus disappeared years ago.
       
    10. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      I said yes but it depends. Most places won't get too dangerous with earplugs (from my experince in the UK). If you have a good relationship with your local cinema you could let them know about your tinnitus before you see the movie.
       
    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Could you please enlighten me @jasonbourne what could the people at the cinema do for someone with tinnitus?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 3
    12. Daniel Lion
      Ape-like

      Daniel Lion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      SE Asia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma, hearing loss
      Hi aot,

      No go for me... my ears are shot... too dangerous for me. I love film and freakin loved taking my kids to the movies. Now they go with mom and I wait for it to come out on DVD. Is what it is... Be careful and know your thresholds. I am disabled, clearly, I accept that and am working to make a new kick ass life with the new me. Compromise and sacrifices must be made.
      Post note... everybody's tinnitus is different... some folks can play music and use chain saws. Some of us are truly afflicted to a level that daily life is super challenging...
      good luck friend....
       
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    13. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      If it's too loud you can ask them to turn it down. But they won't really care unless you have a good relationship with them.

      I guess mentioning it before a movie wouldn't make sense before actually checking how loud it is for most people.

      edit* Oh and you gotta be respectful to those that like it loud and never go during peak times. Forgot to mention that important detail. No way would the manager turn it down in a packed theater.
       
    14. astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earwax/Botched Irrigation/Noise Trauma
      I'm not sure if this is what he was referring to, but I was told by a friend that they can lower volumes/reduce bass level so perhaps that?
       
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    15. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you @jasonbourne and @astaff14

      I haven't been to the cinema in years and have no plans to, as modern films do nothing for me, although there are a few that I have enjoyed on TV.

      Thanks again.
      Michael
       
    16. Michael B
      Supportive

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Southern CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      I saw Jane Austen's Emma in the theater and sat amongst people my age (and older) none of whom were wearing earplugs other than myself. Can you imagine wearing earplugs to a Jane Austen film?
       
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    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      aot
      Artistic

      aot Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016. Worsened 11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound induced.
      Don't feel embarrassed. You were taking steps to protect yourself. If I had done the same, I wouldn't be here right now. (But then I again, I wouldn't have meet so many wonderful people on here. Silver lining I guess.)

      To answer your question, assuming it's not rhetorical, Yes. I actually could. My friends understand my tinnitus and the effect it has on me, so they wouldn't judge. I draw the line at ear muffs though, at least in this context.

      My main problem is the anxiety my tinnitus is given me. I guarantee that throughout the whole movie I'd be thinking "Are they in right? How loud is it? Did I fuck up?" Etc etc.

      I actually want to see Emma. How was it?
       
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    18. GlennS

      GlennS Member Podcast Patron

      Tinnitus Since:
      1992
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      My tinnitus was made worse by going to an IMAX theater that had speakers literally built into the seats. This was like subjecting myself to the shockwave of IEDs in Iraq while watching Mission Impossible: Fallout. I probably could have mounted a lawsuit over this. The mild napkin/paper protection I usually use was unable to protect me, and I bet even foam earplugs wouldn't have been enough.

      Moral of the story is you have to know the theater's sound situation in advance and once you know it's safe, stick to them. Don't walk into a new theater, especially one that prides itself on loud sound reinforcement.
       
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    19. Michael B
      Supportive

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Southern CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      @aot My wife loves period pieces. I started liking them since Downton Abbey. She's also a big Johnny Flynn fan. Other actors we're familiar in the film include Tanya Reynolds & Connor Swindells from Sex Education and Josh O'Connor from The Durrells. If you like period pieces, you'll enjoy it.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    20. MRItechssuck
      Disappointed

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild 2000-2018 sev 10/17/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      I want to know who your lawyer is :) I could use someone like that.

      Everyone is different, I’m fortunate that earplugs work fine for blocking the noise, I just need to hear past the siren in my head.
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      aot
      Artistic

      aot Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016. Worsened 11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound induced.
      Update: Might be seeing Emma on Tuesday. I haven't decided yet. It's a period dramedy with, I assume, no gunfires or explosions so I imagine I'll be okay with protection. I'll let you all know if I go.
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      aot
      Artistic

      aot Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016. Worsened 11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound induced.
      Update: Not seeing Emma today. I'm just not confident enough. I'll maybe give it a year or so. A shame, because it looks really good.
       
    23. morgothaod

      morgothaod Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
    24. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      • Informative Informative x 1
    25. Jaysterk
      Blah

      Jaysterk Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin

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