Hearing Loss at the Movies!

claire_de_lunaJanuary 28, 2006

Has anyone been to a movie lately? HAVE YOU NOTICED HOW LOUD THE PREVIEWS ARE?!!! The last time it happened I went and got the manager and told him about it, we walked into the movie and he asked me a question. I swear to you I couldn't hear the question and yelled ''I CAN'T HEAR YOU!'' and he told me to BE Quiet!

With all the concern over headphones, and iPods and number of decibles that are ruining people's hearing (and some at a very young age), why is it that movie houses refuse to get it? Or is it just me? I don't understand why I should have to pack ear plugs just to get there early enough to find a good seat...

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What, I can't hear you.

They are loud. My daughter goes to the movies for moms with babies on Tuesday mornings at a nearby theatre, and she says it's so much nicer with the lower volume. It's a noticable difference.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 3:31PM
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Hi Claire,

Yes, that's ONE of the reasons I don't go to the movies much any more (that, and the ridiculous prices). Even when the theater is full, the volume is painfully loud. I don't know why they can't, or won't, adjust it to a comfortable range.

Barb, I've never heard of a moms-with-babies showing. I'm in Baltimore, too, so I'd be interested in knowing which theater it is. Are the shows general features, or just kid stuff? And is it ONLY for adults accompanied by a child, or can anybody go? Sounds like a great idea!


    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 5:01PM
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Sue, my daughter goes to the Lowe's Theatre in Gaithersburg (she just moved to Frederick). She found out about it from a magazine article. If you go to the Lowe's website there's a link under Theatre Events for Reel Moms (apparently it's down right now), and she says that will tell the theaters and times for movies. I don't know the details. Maybe you can borrow a baby!

If you Google "Reel moms" you'll get a lot of hits with good information, too.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 5:55PM
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Thanks, Barb. The site is up now, and I see that it has first-run movies, but it's exclusively for parents with infants. Also, Gaithersburg is a bit far for me.

But the point is, they CAN control the volume; they just don't want to! And now that I'm older, loudness = pain. I'm always turning down the volume on the TV. Guess I should be looking for a Reel Geezers show! LOL!


    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 6:28PM
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You know what's REALLY pathetic??? I am one of those people who is losing her hearing as a result of ipods, earphones etc. And now, the theatre is no longer too loud to me. It's my own darned fault.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 6:58PM
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Lowe's Whitemarsh participates too, maybe you can get a neighbor with a kid to take you as "grandma"!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 7:29PM
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Ivette, OUCH!

Well, thanks everyone for helping me feel like it's not just my problem. The typical movie manager is usually 20 years my junior and obviously thinks that LOUD is part of the experience. Sadly, I used to enjoy a good movie, but find the assault too much to bear. My Dad couldn't hear, his mother couldn't hear, and I see the writing on the wall if I don't protect what I have left. I always wear earplugs any more around loud noise, like the mower but the theatres don't see this as a problem.

What I'd like to do is send my local tv news station a request that someone do an auditory decibel test; I'll bet that would raise some concerns! If movie popcorn will kill ya, why not activate awareness of how we're all going deaf?

My ears are still ringing.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 7:31PM
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Anyone else think the music in the 'teen' stores is so loud they can't hear themselves think?

I was in Hollister the other day (my first and LAST time) with DD2 and not only could I not think, with their painted black walls and spot-track lighting, I could not SEE. I should've brought earplugs and a flashlight. I asked the manager if he'd turn down the music for a few minutes and he replied, "We like it like this."

Was it someone in "The First Wives' Club" who bashed the car of an obnoxious youngster with the war whoop, "I'm OLDER than you and I have more INSURANCE so take THAT! And THAT!" Whomever it was, she's my hero!

My fuse must have been really short, because I leaned across the desk right into his face and said that the kids who wear the clothes might like it, but the parents who PAY for the clothes couldn't stand it, so I was taking my VISA card somewhere else.

Of course, DD2 is mortified. But at least she has a reason this time!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 8:54PM
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Pecanpie, it was Fried Green Tomatoes, and in my opinion that was the best part of the movie!

It's so sad, and Too Bad when the customers don't matter, isn't it? Your daughter may be mortified now, but I'll bet she remembers this when she's older and has a daughter of her own!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 8:59PM
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Last movie we went to my DH actually had to make the projectionist turn down the volume. It's just as hard to hear when it's too loud as it is when it's not loud enough.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 9:10PM
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claire, who said it? I'm thinking Kathy Bates...

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 9:13PM
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Pecanpie, so true about the music in teen stores. I was shopping for a gift for my niece in Abercrombie and this kid with a clipboard who really couldn't have been more than seventeen came up to me and identified himself as some sort of supervisor doing a survey for the corporate office about customers' impressions of the store. I told him I thought the music was a little loud and he said quite a few people had said that. He didn't offer to turn it down, though. I did say that at least Abercrombie had their lights turned on, which was a tick in their favor. Like you, I'd been to Hollister minutes before, and left immediately because I literally could not tell what color the clothes were.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 9:40PM
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Pecanpie, It was Kathy Bates. I could totally identify!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 11:33PM
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I think that part of the movie is remembered world wide because we can all identify with what kb was feeling and saying; it's a classic for me now.

I have not seen a movie out with Kathy Bates recently, did I miss it ?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 6:00AM
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Hi Claire! How's your garden growing?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 7:36AM
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I bring a pair of those little Soft Silicone Earplugs with me to the movies I go! I can usually hear the dialogue just fine. Otherwise I get a "screaming" migraine! You can find these at any drugstore. I like these, they conform to your ear :-)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 10:31AM
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I don't like going to the movies either, because it's so loud.
In the fall of last year, I was diagnosed with Tinnitus - ringing in the ear. It just started one day, a faint ringing that didn't stop. After a few days, I thought I must have an ear infection, so I went to the doctor. He looked at my ears and said no infection, and sent me for hearing tests.
The tests revealed a minor fluxuation in the low tones that showed damage from a prior exposure to loud noise. No indication of when the damage occurred, just that it had. The doctor's prognosis? It's permanant, and will in all likelihood, never go away. He said that literally millions have it, and it's almost always caused by exposure to loud noise.
I am lucky with my Tinnitus, in that it is fairly faint, and I am blessed to (most of the time) be able to "put it in the bacground" and not have it be too severe. I can hear it more prominantly right now because I'm thinking about it, but most of the time I am able to carry on without too much difficulty.

The woman who did my hearing test has it so bad that she wears white noise devices in her ears to try and diffuse it. I felt so bad for her - she's young; not yet 30. That's a long time to go with permanant ringing in your ears. My GC has it too - a result of too many rock concerts in his youth, and constant use of air nail hammers as a young carpenter/roofer. I've met others too, who's ears have been ringing constantly for years. It's just something that no one talks about a lot. We just live with it.

The thing is - you can sustain damage decades before the ringing starts, so it's difficult to determine what causes it specifically, but for sure the super loud volume at movies and concerts does not help. Additionally, with surround sound and dolby stereo at the movies now - there is no way to sit farther away from the speakers..as they are literally all around you. What I worry about is that by the time they are in their 40's (like me), most American kids will have Tinnitus. We didn't have the super loud movies and I Pod technology growing up so I think our ears may have fared better overall. I worry that today's audio technolgy will equal a much greater percentage of hearing loss for our kids later on in life.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 9:10AM
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Mitch, I haven't seen one lately either (movie with Kathy Bates). I seem to be missing a lot of movies in the theatres lately.

Hi Cup! My garden is growing well, inside, although I'm battling scale on my Meyer Lemon tree. The bulbs are coming up since our winter weather has been so warm, and now that we've had rain, the silver maples in my neighbor's yard has buds. What happened to winter? (OK, I'm from the midwest and I know how to weather talk...it's inbred you know?)

Librarymom, LOVE the swirly colors! All I have are the bright green or orange ones that stay with the lawnmower. I can see I should get some of these for my purse. Isn't this a sad statement?

meskauskas, I'm sorry to hear about your Tinnitus. I think most people don't have a clue about how important it is to keep your hearing. I think of my Dad in the last years of his life, and how much he missed out on because he couldn't hear. He lost interest and didn't engage much because of it. I've had misunderstandings with my BIL who couldn't hear me when we were talking about a favorite uncle, whom I described as ''elegant''. What he heard me say was ''ignorant''!

I often don't hear people when they are talking in front of or behind me. A lot of people mumble, which drives me nuts. Reminds me of a Seinfeld ''low talker'' episode; the one where Jerry ends up wearing the Puffy Shirt...

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 1:04PM
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Ivette, I'm right there with you. My downfall was the walkman back in the 80s (along with a short stint in the music industry--clubs/concerts--way too much noise way too close up). I wish I could tell all the Ipod wearing folks to STOP IT! We explain to my daughter often that the reason I can't hear when people talk sometimes is because I wore earphones just to listen to music. What a waste.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 1:53PM
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Maybe it's so loud to cover up those rude people talking, or worse yet, talking on their cell phones. But that's a whole other subject!


    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 2:11PM
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Everything sounds lovely in your garden. Do you have any pictures on-line?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 2:13PM
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flyleft, my husband gave me an iPod for Christmas. I didn't even know I wanted one, but I'm loving it. I make certain that I listen at the lowest level, and that I can still hear other people talking. I'm hoping that by doing this I'm keeping my hearing intact, since it is such a concern.

Cup, I don't have any recent on-line pictures. The outside is still pretty barren, except the grass is greening up. Since my garden is mostly confined to my dining room, that's where the ''oxygen'' is. The ficus trees are huge, and going through a period of ''fall''. I need to do some pruning since they are bumping the ceiling, and there are some interior areas that need to be opened up to the light. It's a sweeping exercise daily, but I love the green. I always seem to have lawn debris, whether it's inside or out!

finally, don't get me started on one of my major pet peeves, because I could go there easily. There's no getting away from it all for those people, is there? (Them OR Us.)

I sent an e-mail to our local news station; if something comes of it you'll be the first to know!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 3:34PM
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claire, glad to "hear" it. Music is so important to me (was on the concert pianist track, jumped off because I felt like I was getting sucked into a whirlpool), it's like my first language; thought the walkman was the best thing since the pianoforte. Played it loud, played it everywhere. Turns my stomach to think about it now. I have much less sensitivity to low sounds at all (I might not know they're happening), and I really *need* clearly-articulated words to be able to understand precisely what someone's saying.

On another topic: the dining room garden--I'm just getting into plants indoors, now that we have no cats that eat them (the last one who did so passed on about a year and a half ago now); how do you propagate aloe? I have a big plant that's tipped over and I'd like to save as much of it as possible into new pots--do you mind if I ask? You seem like a very expert indoor gardener :)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 1:16PM
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flyleft, I'm giving you a link to a site that will tell you all about aloe; the best time to propagate it, the type of soil it needs, etc. It's pretty foolproof, even though mine is looking rather overwatered at the moment! (I switched to plastic pots inside clay, and I don't have to water nearly as often.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Aloe Vera plant info

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 2:35PM
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Thanks, claire! What a cool site--see, if I'd just looked it up myself, I would never have discovered such a cool place :)

Good to know about the plastic pots, too.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 12:04AM
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Does anyone else have trouble hearing conversation amidst convivial background noise?

I find myself at parties trying to maintain polite eye-contact while half-heartedly attempting to read lips; all the while nodding and saying "Um hum" and making the polite encouraging sounds one makes when another is speaking. Most of the time I have no idea what they are saying, so I just hope I am not nodding assent to a machiavellian plot, or nasty gossip or who knows what.

Needless to say, drinking is out of the question at parties now. I would really be in a mell of a hess.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 8:27AM
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Pecanpie, I sometimes have that problem if there's a lot of background noise. Are you across the room when this is happening, or right next to the person? If you are next to the person, they could be low talkers, mumblers OR you might need to have your hearing checked. I have no problem asking if they are often not heard by others, or "Is it ME?" I am a little concerned that you're trying to read lips. When did you last have your hearing checked?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 12:54PM
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Too long ago, I'm afraid. I'll make that call. I can hear them, but I can't understand them in a very crowded, noisy hubbub.

I'm sure I've done this to myself. It wasn't sex, it wasn't drugs, it must've been the rock n' roll.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 5:43PM
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Sigh..Oh well, Pecan...pass me a ramos fizz and crank up the Rod Stewart, cause I've had that problem since the late 70's. Those were my adult dating years, and I used to hate to go to clubs or lounges with music, because when someone spoke to me, most of the time I could never even begin to comprehend what they were saying. It's a little better in a standing crowd where there's no music, but I have to use every ounce of my concentration just to get a general idea of what's being said, and I never catch all of it. I'd say I fake it about 30% of the time. I don't think it's my hearing per se..but rather an innability to be able to ignore the background noise, or something.
To this day, I find noisy restaurants annoying to the point that I won't go back, and I haven't been to a club in years.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 12:03AM
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Yes, it's only rock 'n roll, but I like it!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 9:28AM
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Did anyone "hear" that Apple is being sued for one man's hearing loss?

Here is a link that might be useful: Apple lawsuit

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 10:31AM
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pecanpie, I love your story about informing the loud store you'd be taking your VISA elsewhere! My DD thinks she is the only teen suffering in this way.....

This is her "favorite" embarrassment:

I called ahead (hey, I'm not new to teen-shopping-heck) to ask if a certain huge sportings goods store had basketball shorts and shoes for my daughter with a size 8 foot (BTW, is this still THE most common woman's foot size???!!) at the start of basketball season. I was told, oh yes, lots. We walk in, ask for help, & the young man immediately explains that we really "want" men's clothing and shoes, all the "girls" do, and that's all they have. Well, I clarified: "So you only have clothing and shoes for people with penuses?" This is when my DD & gal pal disappeared in a puff of smoke, oddly.

Yes, I complained to the manager -- a real woman (not a "girl," mind you) who was horrified at the young man's comments, and assured me that this would be addressed immediately and was wrong for oh-so-many reasons.

So now my daughter reminds me "no penus comments" when I take her shopping and I remind her "well then they better have women's clothing and equipment when we get there..." So we have an understanding. And I can only imagine how riled up she'll get defending her own daughter's right to be clothed for sports in the future, should title nine remain viable.....

Like pecanpie, I remind folks all the time when I'm out shopping that I want to see what I'm buying & I don't care to be insulted with music or anti-woman politics while spending large sums of cash. Or small sums, for that matter. I'm raising a woman here.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 12:18PM
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athomein1914, that is really funny! You go, girl!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 9:32AM
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