Which Earplugs Would You Choose for Cinema?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Sarah200, Apr 15, 2018.

    1. Sarah200
      Suicidal

      Sarah200 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
      Hi all

      I'm trying to pick which earplugs to pick to wear when I go to the cinema on 27th of April to watch Infinity War, the cinema told their speakers are tuned to 82 dB level.

      My ENT just told to wear noise reducing earplugs and I'll be fine but I'm not sure which ones to pick as I found these ones by Alpine https://www.alpinehearingprotection.co.uk/earplugs/partyplug-pro-natural/ - These reduce noise by 21 dB so instead of the movie being 82 dB it will be 62 dB for me, but then my audiologist has told me that custom made ones are better and offer better protection and he said they do them for £90?

      Here's a bit more info on the custom ones from my audiologist https://www.specsavers.co.uk/hearing/hearing-aids/hearing-protection - scroll down to where it says custom plugs.

      My sister, bless her, has even said she'll pay for the custom ones if they are better so I don't miss out on Infinity War :popcorndrink::huganimation:

      Which ones would you go for and which are best in your opinion?
       
    2. Zug
      Woot

      Zug Member Benefactor

      I had an Alpine pair that were pretty descent. They work fine. I had the musician's set: https://www.alpinehearingprotection.co.uk/earplugs/musicsafe-pro/

      Now I have molded plugs which are way better. If you can, go for the molded pair. If not, you should be fine with Alpine.

      Don't overthink the "db" thing. Companies state laboratory results and it isn't just a matter of adding/subtracting. There are questions of fit, materials, etc. If you go to a party and move a lot, a molded pair will be more secure in your ears, Alpine's set go pretty deep, so you are also safe there.

      The molded plugs fit better, are easier to put in and out and gives a better sense of comfort. It's just like trading an old set of heavy glasses to a better, lighter frame.

      Best,
      Zug
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Your ENT doctor has given you good advice but I still advise caution. If I were you I wouldn't bother with custom earplugs. Knowing sound levels that you will be exposed to can be helpful, but it all depends on the level of your tinnitus. For instance: Is it mild? Moderate? Or occasionally severe and intrusive? Does it spike? If so do you have hyperacusis: sensitivity to sound ? There are many factors to consider.

      Please don't think wearing noise reducing earplugs or custom made earplugs will mean you are safe. If external sound is "loud" enough, it will pass through your skull/head and be transferred to your inner ear by bone conduction. Depending on the level or severity of your tinnitus and whether you have hyperacusis - exposure to loud sounds can make these conditions worse.

      Whilst it's good to go out and have a nice time. Please remember the sound in a movie theatre, will maybe coming towards your ears/auditory system from more than one source. I think noise reducing earplugs will be adequate for your needs, and up to 30db should suffice. Please read my post below: Hyperacusis, As I see it.

      Michael

      Hyperacusis, As I See It.

      Some members have asked for my opinion on hyperacusis as they are finding it increasingly difficult to live with. They want to know if there is a way of treating this condition so that their life can become a little easier? Or whether it can be completely cured? For a few it has become so distressing they have decided to only leave their homes when it’s absolutely necessary. This is because of the fear of making the symptoms worse, by subjecting their ears to the hustle and bustle of everyday road traffic noise and other environmental sounds that we are all familiar with.

      Reading some of the posts in this forum, one can easily see that certain people daren’t leave their homes without first checking they have their earmuffs and an assortment of earplugs in various degrees of attenuation, in readiness for any potential environment that they happen to find themselves in. The cinema, nightclub, restaurant, or on public transport. If money is no object aspiring to custom made moulded earplugs for some is the way to go. It can bring the added assurance they will be getting the best hearing protection. Whether this is true or not doesn’t really matter because it’s what the person believes and this helps to give them that peace of mind which is something many of us strive for at one time or another.

      The above may seem a little extreme until I tell you one member provoked a lot of discussion here, when he mentioned having the air bag in a car that he had just purchased disabled in case it was deployed in an accident. I suppose the thought of 170 decibels raining down on his auditory system and the possibility of his tinnitus and hyperacusis shooting through the roof was too much too bear and is more important than a potential life saving device. As strange as this might seem, others have discussed doing the same thing elsewhere on the Internet.

      I am not an expert in this field but do have the experience of living with very severe hyperacusis that was brought on with the onset of my tinnitus twenty years ago due to loud noise exposure. It was so severe; conversation with someone at times caused immense pain. However, it was completely cured in two years with TRT and having counselling with a hearing therapist. I wore white noise generators for 10hrs a day and used a sound machine throughout the night until morning for sound enrichment. My tinnitus had reduced to a very low level.

      Some people believe hyperacusis cannot be cured and if treatment such as TRT works then it merely suppresses the condition. In the event of future loud noise exposure it will return and the condition will be worse than before. I believe it's up to the individual to take care of their hearing and not subject themselves to loud noise exposure. However, accidents do happen as in my case. I have previously explained in this forum that my tinnitus increased to very severe levels in 2008 due to noise exposure so won’t go over it again. To my surprise the hyperacusis did not return and has remained the same till this day, completely silent.

      This summer I went onto the Brighton Pier and into the arcade. The place was a hive of activity and many people were using the slot machines. Music was playing and mixed with loud laughter so everyone seemed to be having a good time. I had my sound level meter and also a sound App on my mobile phone. Just in case things got too uncomfortable I had my noise reducing earplugs with me that reduce sound levels by 18 decibels. This was a test and not something I normally do or recommend anyone else to try.

      The sound level in that place remained constant at just over 100 decibels. My ears didn’t feel uncomfortable and I felt no pain. I stayed at the venue for 30 minutes and then left.

      The next morning my tinnitus was silent and I experienced no symptoms of hyperacusis. I do not believe that it is a good idea for someone with tinnitus or hyperacusis (or both) to wear earplugs or noise-reducing earplugs with filters too often, because it’s possible for the auditory system to become hypersensitive. In some cases it could make matters worse and cause a condition called phonophobia. This is literally having a fear of sound.

      I used to counsel someone that had phonophobia like symptoms although she wasn’t diagnosed. This person had hypercausis that gradually got worse and at every opportunity she kept away from sound. This got so bad going out the front door because of the noise was a problem. Her ears couldn’t tolerate the sound of the microwave, dishwasher or the washing machine. She even complained of the sound of rain falling on her conservatory roof that was made of glass. Fortunately she has improved.

      There is much discussion on this in the medical field from experts saying that the overuse of hearing protection isn’t good and therefore discouraged as it will lower loudness threshold and I completely agree with this. I think if one isn’t careful they can become paranoid over sound making their hyperacusis and tinnitus worse and I don’t think it’s healthy.

      I believe the answer is to seek proper treatment. If TRT is unavailable then start using a sound machine by the bedside at night for sound enrichment. This usually helps to desensitise the auditory system. Try going out for long walks and getting used to everyday sounds instead of keeping away from them by staying at home. I don’t normally recommend anyone to use white noise generators unless they are under the care of a hearing therapist. However, if your tinnitus is under control and you have habituated but experience hyperacusis, that some call: Reactive tinnitus. Then white noise generators could be the way to go. Two should be used to keep the auditory system in balance and set the volume level low, preferably below the tinnitus. This will help to desensitise the auditory system and treat the hypercusis.

      Hearing protection is important and does have its place. If I am going to venues where I believe noise level could become loud then I have my earplugs with me. Night clubs, parties etc. I would always use them at the cinema although I haven’t been to one in years. Reading some of the posts on this forum people say those places can be very loud.

      When I use my petrol lawn mower or electric power tools for those DIY jobs around the home, I always use my ear defenders. I want to live life and enjoy it. Not to be living in fear of hearing a fire truck or ambulance siren coming towards me and I have to panic and quickly insert earplugs or reach for earmuffs to protect my hearing. I just think this is overkill.

      Michael
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sarah200
      Suicidal

      Sarah200 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
      Thank you for getting back to me, my tinnitus is mild as I don't hear it outside at all, I can sleep without masking it and I only hear it in a quiet room, I don't have hyperacusis, and my tinnitus is very likely caused by a bad cold. The cinema will be 82 dB loud. It does spike , but not very often, my last spike was due to watching an action movie too loud at home and I drank a glass of cola which I forgot had caffeine which spikes my tinnitus so I don't have caffeine but that night forgot.
       
    5. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      It is good that you have mild tinnitus so try to keep it that way, and keep away from loud sounds. I advise you not to sleep in a totally "quiet" room. Even though your tinnitus is mild at the moment and hopefully it stays that way. Sleeping in a quiet room is really not a good idea please believe me. If the brain hears silence when asleep it has the ability to increase its background activity and thus the tinnitus making it more intrusive during waking hours. You may not believe this but it is certainly possible. Not in all cases but since your tinnitus is mild, I would do everything possible to keep it that way.

      Use a sound machine by your bedside to play nature sounds. Keep the volume low. It will supply your brain and auditory system with sound enrichment throughout the night. More is explained in my posts in the link below.

      Purchase the "noise reducing" earplugs up to 30db should be adequate.

      I wish you well.
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...ise-generators-for-the-tinnitus-newbie.18130/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sarah200
      Suicidal

      Sarah200 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
      Thank you again, I did not know that I shall buy a masking machine , know of any good ones? Also , so you think I should be fine with going to the cinema like everyone else has said?
       
    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Tinnitus should never be "masked" covered up so it can't be heard. Just keep the sound machine at a low level and not enough to distract you from sleeping. I explain more in my posts above. Buy "Sound Oasis" sound machine. They make various models and are specifically made for people with tinnitus. Model S-650 is popular but if you want the best, the S-5000 has many features also covered in my post below.

      You can download sound apps for your mobile phone and Bluetooth it to an external speaker if you wish. The mobile phone speaker is not sufficient enough to supply good quality sound enrichment on it's own.

      Michael

      PS: It would be a good idea to limit the use of headphone use and keep the volume as low as possible. Better still would be to never use them.

      You should be fine at the cinema but you must monitor how you feel. If the sound makes you uncomfortable then leave no matter how good the film.

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/sound-machines-and-tinnitus.12072/
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sarah200
      Suicidal

      Sarah200 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
      What else can I do to help it not get any worse and keep it at mild? And is it true that sometimes T can spike for no reason?
       
    9. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      The main thing that makes tinnitus worse when it was originally caused by "loud noise" is headphone use. Don't use headphones even at low volume. Don't go to venues where loud music is played too often. By all means go to a club if you wish, but don't stand too near loud speakers. If you keep to these rules I don't think your tinnitus will get worse, providing there is no underlying medical problem causing it.

      Michael
       
    10. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sarah200
      Suicidal

      Sarah200 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
      I have no interest in concerts or clubs which I think is a good thing, never been to one in my life, what if your T is caused by a cold as my audiologist is confident it's not noise but a cold that caused my T as when T started I had fluid in my ears, which has gone now but I'm still congested and my GP and audiologist think it will go once I've cleared my congestion as if never been able to breath through my nose at night.

      So what if your T is caused by a bad cold \congestion is there anything I could do to prevent it getting worse?
       
    12. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Unfortunately this is not an area that I familiar with as I mostly deal with tinnitus caused by "exposure" to loud noise. However, if I were you I would still follow the advice that I have given on headphone use and exposure to loud sounds. Hopefully, someone in this forum will be able to answer your question.

      All the best
      Michael
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sarah200
      Suicidal

      Sarah200 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
      Thanks for helping me, I don't listen to music very often and if I do it's on from a cd player as I hate headphones and earphones and I always have it on low. My GP and audiologist is certain that once the ENT has helped figure out why I'm always congested that my T will go. So I'm hoping there's still hope for me but I'll do everything you advise, do you think I should still wear the earplugs when I dry my hair? That the only loud thing I have on a daily basis? I'm also worried about an MRI if the ENT DR does send me for one as if read on here people saying there T got worse after an MRI and that there are certain hearing tests that are really loud too?
       
    14. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Since your tinnitus wasn't caused by loud noise, there shouldn't be any need to use earplugs while drying your hair. Try without using plugs and see how you feel. I don't think you have anything to worry about with your MRI scan. Try not to read too much into people posting "negative posts" as this can cause stress and could make you believe your tinnitus will become worse doing certain activities and being in some environments.

      Michael
       
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    15. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      I wear pro plugs that fit flat to your ear and clear with 20db reduction.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sarah200
      Suicidal

      Sarah200 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
      Ok so I should be fine at the cinema with my plugs in like my audiologist said? Since it's not caused by noise

      With the hairdryer , after using it it only spikes for a few seconds and goes back to normal after like 3-5 secs , which is why I thought plugs might be a good idea. The only other things that make it spike is to much salt or caffeine.
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sarah200
      Suicidal

      Sarah200 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
    18. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI @Sarah200

      It might be a good idea to continue using the earplugs when drying your hair. The S-650 is a good sound machine and the one I usually recommend.

      Michael
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sarah200
      Suicidal

      Sarah200 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
      Thanks Michael
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sarah200
      Suicidal

      Sarah200 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
      Forgot to ask everytime I have my window open I notice my tinnitus improves even after I've closed it again, do you think it could be the natural sounds outside that help?
       
    21. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      The outside sounds are providing your auditory system with sound enrichment and helping your brain to push the tinnitus further into the background making it less noticeable. It for this reason I suggested to you not to sleep in a quiet room - use the sound machine. During the day, have low level music playing in the background. Relaxing music such as classical is ideal. Not to mask the tinnitus but to provide sound enrichment. When you fully habituate you might hear your tinnitus but won't be bothered by it.

      Please read the posts in the links that I have sent you.

      Michael
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sarah200
      Suicidal

      Sarah200 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
      Will do I read most of them just two left to read. I was wondering if my window being open would do the same as the machine will, luckily I get paid tomorrow so the first things I'm buying is the S-650 machine and my plugs. My tinnitus doesn't bother me anymore but I'd like to prevent it getting worse which is why I'm taking on board what if read in the links you gave and the advise you have given and why I'm getting the 650 machine as I did not know that being in a silent room can make it worse which is why I'm glad you told me.

      Do you believe that supplements and certain foods and drink can help, like I read roobios tea can help Tinnitus and that a magnesium supplement can help?
       
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sarah200
      Suicidal

      Sarah200 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
      Hi @Michael Leigh, I've just read the link on spikes you gave me and you know where you say "My advice is to stay clear of large standing floor speakers and if you’re at a concert don’t go to near the front stage where the music is likely to be booming out at high sound levels."

      What about at a cinema would you recommend sitting at the back? I know the cinema is different but thought I should ask, my audiologist said to sit in the middle row?

      I've not been to the cinema in 2yrs and won't be going back to the cinema ever after I've seen Infinity War. I'm normally happier to wait for DVD release but I've waited 10yrs for this film to be made and released (I'm a Marvel geek;))
       
    24. dingaling
      Relaxed

      dingaling Member

      Location:
      London UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown, probably loud music
      @Sarah200

      Prevention is great but just a couple of words of caution....

      1. Most Specsaver's stores are staffed by graduates; therefore do not have a lot of experience...

      2. They may just make you custome swim plugs but tell you they attenuate noise. (they don't and £90 is way over the top

      3. "Proper" Etymotic earplugs start at around £150 at a guess

      4. Speakers tuned at 82dB level...? This is meaningless without a reference (e.g. dB SPL, dBA etc...). Is this peak dB or average dB. The dynamic range within the cinema could be huge and peak well above this level - also it depends on how near or far you are from the speakers
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
      • Useful Useful x 1
    25. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Please read the posts below (to see the posts in context, click on the "up arrow")
      Don't do it.
       
    26. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      Were those quotes directly related to movie attendance? One was from attending a concert, that’s not exactly the same as a movie theater.

      For impartiality in reporting, perhaps you could include quotes from TT members who go to movie theaters and are fine. There are many.
       
    27. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Here is one.
      I remember reading more.

      The point I was trying to make is that many people are finding out that earplugs provide a false sense of security.

      You do realize that most rattle snake and bear encounters end up with the humans being fine, right? Ninety percent of female smokers and 84% of male smokers will never develop lung cancer
      https://www.verywell.com/what-percentage-of-smokers-get-lung-cancer-2248868
      Enough said.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    28. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      With rattle snakes, some encounters for me were close calls.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    29. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      Previews are louder than the actual movies. Typically anywhere from 10 to 15dB higher, which is significant given how the dB scale actually works.

      And now could you share anecdotal information from members who have gone to movies and been fine . . . or is your preference only to share negative information?

      Perhaps you could also ask Geo to follow up. Then again, he has not posted in two years. In one of his most recent posts he mentioned that anxiety seemed to increase his tinnitus. It is possible that anxiety and not movie previews was the culprit, but that’s difficult to deduce from the one post of more than 600 of his that you chose to post.

      Incidentally, the quote you selected also failed to point out that he had hyperacusis. That adds an entirely different dimension and is worth indicating when quoting members, it’s a further complication that can distort our perception of sound. It can lead us to think sounds are louder than they actually are, which can cause sound anxiety.

      This is the fallacy of quoting members, you miss many pertinent and key details. We are all capable of using the search function. Maybe we should stick to only sharing our own personal experiences, rather than possibly distort the experience of another member.
       
      Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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    30. Zug
      Woot

      Zug Member Benefactor

      @Sarah200, you're overthinking it. I just got back from the movies. Wether if it's Alpine's filtered plugs or custom earplugs (mine are Westone's), you will be Ok. In action movies like an Avengers Movie I'll wear plugs most of the time (I'll take them off to eat popcorn), on other movies I'll not wear them at all.

      You asked a simple question, there's a simple answer: Don't overthink it, carry earplugs, have fun.

      I'll give you another suggestion: Go on an watch "A quiet Place" before going to the Avengers. Why? You'll probably be a little nervous the first time you go to the movies. After you go and see for yourself that it's no big deal, you'll enjoy yourself more. Since you WANT to enjoy the Mad Titan crushing the Avengers, go to another movie first. ;)

      Really, have fun. Don't buy "sound machines" or other equipment you don't need. Don't hide under a rock.

      You asked a simple question, you deserve a simple and good answer. ;)

      Best,
      Zug
       

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