Movie Theater Wayyy Too Loud!

Discussion in 'Support' started by ryant, Sep 11, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. ryant

      ryant Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert for 1 hour
      went to the movies with my girlfriend and another couple today for the first time since getting tinnitus about a year ago. I also have developed mild hyperacusis since this started. I wore my earplugs and figured the volume would be fine.

      I was wrong. The movie was averaging 90-95 db according an app I have, and I could tell it was just too loud. I had to get up only a few minutes into the movie and leave. 90 minutes of entertainment isn't worth the increase in ringing I'll have to deal with for who knows how long to follow.

      Damn I feel so disappointed and really just sad that I can't do something that seems so ordinary, even with earplugs.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    2. ShaunR

      ShaunR Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert + Motorbike
      I know exactly what you mean! Even the adverts before the film starts are too bloody loud!

      Worst part is speech is at an acceptable volume then when you hit an action part the volume is incredible!

      These days I just watch them safely at home Lol

      Shaun
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      90db with earplugs is very unlikely to cause you permanent harm, and I question the accuracy of your phone because those apps are sketchy and using a real db meter at action movies has reliably been high 70s average, high 80s during action scenes.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. Coyotesheaven
      Depressed

      Coyotesheaven Member

      Location:
      Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Dysautonomia/Vascular
      Consider filing a complaint to the theater and ask for volume reduction, if you think there is a need to. The volume at present-day movie theaters has been turned up dangerously loud these days and harms the viewer's hearing, and many unlike you do not wear earplugs. I see it as a considerable health crisis that may do more damage than just T, H, and hearing loss.
      I am regretting my decision to have not filed a complaint to my theater when I went to watch a movie at the Imax theater once where the sound was not 90, but around 110 decibels loud during the action scenes, with very heavy bass that made my earplugs completely useless. My body got pummeled from the bass and I came home with a terrible migraine, trigeminal neuralgia symptoms, and of course permanent hearing loss. I have never been in a theater since, and my health has not been in tip-top since the incident either; it's as if my neurological problems were catalyzed by that one movie-going night.

      However, granted most of the movie was only 90 ish db and you were wearing earplugs, you should be ok as with ear protection you are out of the standard danger zone, and probably out of the danger zone for T sufferers as well. You may have had a temporary spike, but that is all I would expect. Just make sure to sleep well and eat right, and avoid loud spaces for a few days.

      Now, I can't tell you to stay away from movie theaters and ditch theater going, as I think some are ok especially if you wear protection. But use a great deal of wit and caution when going to a movie theater in the future, as they are dangerous places for T sufferers or people who already have inner ear conditions, especially in this day and age. And, again, although I think the noise levels were not completely outrageous in this case, never hesitate to ask the theater managers to turn their volume down.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      The industry has worked to put the cinema experience on par with the live concert experience, hence the emphasis on sound.
       
    6. Kane Moffat
      Badass

      Kane Moffat Member

      Location:
      Glasgow, Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2015
      I highly doubt you would sustain any kind of damage at those sound levels. Even at 85 db the earplugs would bring you down bellow 80 db, more than fine for a couple of hours.
       
    7. ryant

      ryant Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert for 1 hour
      I did speak with the manager as I was leaving, he apologized and gave me a free movie ticket, which I won't be using myself. He wouldn't turn the volume down. I won't be going back to any theaters. It may not have been loud enough for permanent damage with the ear plugs but every time I'm in a noisy situation, even with ear plugs, my tinnitus will worsen for awhile, sometimes several days. It's just not worth it. It was embarrassing to walk out with my friends there who were not aware of my tinnitus. I had to explain it to them afterwords. This shit changes your life in so many ways. A few years ago I went to see a movie made by Metallica that was both IMAX and 3D, it was like being at a concert. And it was loud! Those days are over I guess. Speaking of Metallica, both Lars and James (drummer and singer) have tinnitus. How the hell do they get on stage and play hours of heavy metal with tinnitus? I wish they'd tell us their secret lol
       
    8. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      @ryant i am sure Kirk Hammett mentioned having t as well. No idea how they continue to play loud shows all the time. But then there are many other musicians with t still going ..
       
    9. Fangen
      Monday blues

      Fangen Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Stockholm, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2nd, 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (loud concert for 1h)
      Was it in an IMAX theater? We recently opened up the first one here in Stockholm and I was there a few days after onset. It was freaking loud at certain points, but it didn't reach above 90 db on the worst peaks. I am not going back there and for the note, I did not get worse T or a spike. The volume here is around 75-85 db tops, but that is mostly due to regulations. I know in the US, the theaters can be insanely loud.
       
    10. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      They should just shine lasers into your eyes every now and then. You know, to enhance the experience.
       
      • Like Like x 3
    11. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      @ryant if you're in the US or Canada, there are a number of theaters which do special screenings for people with sensory issues:
      https://www.amctheatres.com/programs/sensory-friendly-films

      This means that the lights are not quite turned down all the way, and the volume is significantly lower. I believe the primary target demographic is people with autism, but this could be helpful for people here as well.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    12. ryant

      ryant Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert for 1 hour
      No, the movie I went to yesterday's was not at an IMAX theatre. I used an iPhone app called Decibel 10th to get the decibel readings. I know these apps are not 100% accurate, but they are the best thing I have to gauge loudness. Although, I think this one is fairly accurate. When I saw 95dB, and could feel the seat rumbling I decided to leave. I think movie theaters in then US are supposed to be regulated, but I doubt they follow it. I read a story awhile back of a girl who went to the movies and got tinnitus from the movie, and another story of a guy who saw a movie with a lot of gun shots and also got tinnitus. It's a crazy noisy world we live in, and we just have to be prepared (wearing earplugs) and know your limits. I could have stayed, but today I might have regretted that decision.
       
    13. ryant

      ryant Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert for 1 hour
    14. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      If people would shut the f@&! up and put their phones away, then they could turn the volume back down to the levels that were typical 20 years ago. Society is too loud.
       
    15. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      People having cell phones doesn't have anything to do with movies being loud.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. HiThere

      HiThere Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/01/1975
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Delivery by forceps? Childhood ear infections?
      If I understand correctly, he's not talking about the db level being too loud in regard to being concerned about hearing damage, he's talking about how loud environments crank up his level of T after the experience causing him to suffer for it.

      I know that's most certainly how my T behaves. I see a movie only once every year or two mainly for that reason and I would never go into a theater without some form of hearing protection since I would be paying for it later in much louder perceived volume of my T for days on end, up to a week.

      Chris
       
    17. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I don't exactly agree; I think a big part of the reason that spaces like movies have cranked up their volumes dramatically over the past 20 years is that the same period of time has seen the invention and proliferation of personal devices, and socially norms have expanded to include stuff like people taking phone calls from movie seats and airplane seats.

      This is just my personal opinion based on what I've observed in American culture over the last 20 years, I'm not a sociologist and I haven't done a bunch of research to validate my view.

      I'm not saying it's a tech problem per se, but that it's a cultural problem which has ballooned in lockstep with the tech.
       
    18. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015

      Decibel 10th is widely inaccurate. If you were seeing mid 90's then the real figure would have been around 80-82. I had a few different decibel apps on my phone at one point (to test their accuracy) and that was one of the worst for reading high.

      A much better one, and the closest to being accurate is SPLnFFT. You have to pay for it but it's in a different league compared to the free ones. It's actually quite useful. It still reads a tad high, but it can be calibrated and it stays within a certain margin of error. At 70db there's only a 1-2db difference compared to a calibrated meter. The louder things get the more it overestimates, but it's very reliable and accurate enough to give a clear indication when things are actually loud. You can adjust for the margin of error, or just use it as is, as it will give you a few extra decibels of safety. For example I believe 100db is closer to 94-95db in reality.
       
    19. bill 112
      Studious

      bill 112 Member

      Location:
      Republic Of Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Ryan you spot on doing what you did and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

      When I had mild H and mild T I would often have to attend parties or weddings etc.
      If it was too loud it was too loud and I just left without a single regret on my part.Just do what your ears can handle and if they can't handle cinemas then avoid cinemas it's really that simple so what you did was 100% correct and exactly what you should be doing.A quiet night in equals years of quiet days ahead.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    20. Zug

      Zug Member Benefactor

      1) Free phone apps aren't accurate, there are a few paid apps that are good enough. If you're going to measure, do it correctly or don't. You risk scaring yourself unnecessarily;
      2) There are very good doctors who will say that even though it's loud, watching a movie now and then isn't bad for you. I learned the secret for me is to give some rest to my ears between loud places. If I'm going to my mother's, with my nephews screaming around, I won't go straight to a movie theater. After a movie, I won't go to a noisy restaurant.
      3) I carry earplugs when I know the sound may get loud. But it's important to carry a good one. Usually, if you want to hear voices, etc. You need a filtered plug. I had a molded pair in it is great, I even take them off to eat some popcorn and put them on on action sequences.
       
    21. ryant

      ryant Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert for 1 hour
      Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check it out. According to a study I looked that I'll post a link for, Decibel 10th is fairly accurate at 85 dB (slight overestimation) and it underestimates at 95 dB, meaning it may have been louder than I thought it was. The free app they tested that was the most accurate is called dB Volume. http://chr-search.com/pdf/accuracy.pdf
       
    22. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Trust me, decibel 10th is so wrong it's embarrassing. On average it's around 13-15db out, and I'd imagine it only gets worse as things get louder. Even the reviews for the app verify this.

      I tested it in a cinema whilst watching Star Wars and it read around 90db. It was actually around 75db. I tested a few different ones in various conditions and decibel 10th was one I'd never bother with at all.
       
    23. ryant

      ryant Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert for 1 hour
      Well, all I know is it was loud as hell and had to bolt. I wouldn't have had that reaction at 80 decibels with earplugs. The paper I posted shows that it underestimates at loud volumes, not overestimates. Regardless, it's not that effective at gauging an accurate dB level, which is good to know.
       
    24. Path Maker

      Path Maker Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      I have a question. My new work in the entertainment industry has me attending 3 - 4 parties every weekend. Often there is a DJ cranking out INSANELY loud music (music? :) ) and the bass is, of course, body-shaking to the marrow.

      This is SO NOT my scene, but it is where I am going to be spending my weekends for the next many years.

      This weekend, I was at a four-hour party and I endured the DJ for two hours (my body and head were splitting from the noise, even with my Etymotic plugs in). Finally, I was able to move myself outdoors for the remaining two hours.

      There will be more of these situations in the future.

      So my question is, besides earplugs, what can I do?

      Would custom in-ear plugs help more?

      Would ear plugs PLUS those huge Peltor ear protectors give me extra protection?

      Does the bass that rumbles through you aggravate a tinnitus that is essentially a high-pitched one?

      Any input greatly appreciated!!! Thanks in advance. :)
       
    25. Path Maker

      Path Maker Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      @bill 112 ? Did you reply? Got a message that you did but can't find the response?
       
    26. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      If it's LLLT it might be beneficial. ;)

      People needing cell therapy has everything to do with movies being loud though. ;)

      I'm sorry, Tinnitus makes me feel silly sometimes.
       
    27. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      @Path Maker

      Well at least you understand all the risks involved in what you do. Should you continue with this job, then you continue to take these risks. My suggestion would be to use your current plugs, and try the over ear muffs for added protection. Peltor/3M makes a junior size earmuff that will most likely still cover most adult ears. Believe it or not, the junior model filters better 22db as compared to 32db for the big bulky adult units. They are cheap enough and worth a shot. Having custom in ear plugs made up is also a good idea. A few of my friends have them for band rehearsals etc.

      You also pointed out something I feel many people neglect. The impact of the bass on the body. If it rumbles in your bones and you feel it hit your belly, chances are it will make it's way to the inner ear without going thru the ear itself. Long term may do a lot of damage. Hard to say. Many factors come into play including just how healthy your cells are. You may be impacted but your buddy who does the same job never has an issue.

      The only real safe alternative is to find a new line of work. Otherwise try to understand the risks and don't blame the job should you have more hearing issues later in life. You seem to know what this may be doing so you must take full responsibility upon only yourself if you have future issues.

      Good luck with everything my friend!

      Mike

      ps. I have been in the music industry most of my life. I have always known the risks.
       
    28. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      80db is pretty loud though. If the app is telling you it's 95db you're going to believe it and get concerned. At this point you'd be more anxious about your tinnitus than enjoying the film. Buy a meter or try SPLnFFT and measure the difference for yourself. You'd be surprised just how wrong it is. In general if you want accurate numbers you'll need a meter.

      The cinema is completely fine with ear plugs. The only way I can see a problem is if you have troublesome H or catastrophic T, in which case it may just be an uncomfortable experience that's not enjoyable; hence not worth bothering with.

      With ear plugs - depending on type and strength - an average cinema and movie would expose you to between 55db - 70db. 55db being 30db plugs. It's just not worth worrying about. I've said this before, but the journey there would be more likely to damage you in terms of noise exposure.
       
    29. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      @Ed209 what is catostrophix t?
       
    30. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Extremely bad tinnitus and/or tinnitus that affects a person at the worst end of the scale.
       

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