Generally, I prefer to watch movies in the privacy and comfort of my home as opposed to going to an indoor theater. However, when a new movie comes out that really catches my interest, seeing it in the theater is my only choice outside of waiting for months until it is released for home viewing.
A couple of weeks ago, I took a day off work to be with my wife on her birthday. There was a movie that she had wanted to see and this seemed like the perfect occasion.
We got there early, grabbed some popcorn and a soda and settled into our seats near the back row. Then it started!
As soon as the previews began, I remembered what I had forgotten about watching movies in a theater. The sound track is cranked way up and is killing my ears, and I forgot my earplugs!
Many people who suffer from tinnitus also suffer from sound sensitivity or hyperacusis. I am one of them and you may be too. In fact, about 40% of tinnitus patients complain of mild hyperacusis.
For me, the previews are the worst. They play all of the intense scenes with the most banging and pounding and the noise level is unbearable, almost painful. It drives me nuts and totally stresses me out!
Once the movie starts, it is usually a lot easier to handle but it also depends on the movie. However, the extremely high volume usually gets my tinnitus going pretty good. Not only does it crank up the volume of my tinnitus but it usually lasts a day or two.
I can deal with the increased tinnitus levels but I do not handle the hyperacusis well, especially in this type of environment.
I had been there before and cannot believe I had forgotten what it was like. I have a pair of musician’s ear plugs that allow me to hear everything but at a lower volume. I just did not think about it before hand or I would have taken them with me.
If you have hyperacusis, I would highly recommend that you pick up some earplugs and put them on your key chain. The type that I use are made by Etymotic Research. You can pick them up at Amazon for $10 to $20. They are made to reduce the noise while preserving sound quality. They even come with a small carrying case that you can clip on your key chain. Just don’t wait till the next day like I did.
Now…sit back and enjoy the movie.