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Does Star Trek Boldly Go Too Far for Hearing Health?




Audiences need precautions when viewing summer blockbusters, Connect Hearing says

For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA (June 14, 2013) — The makers of "Star Trek Into Darkness" should be arrested.

That's not the opinion of Connect Hearing or any legal authority on Earth, but of the sci-fi franchise itself. The acceptable decibel level on Deep Space 9, the fictional space station whose name was also the title of one of the Star Trek TV series, was 70 decibels. According to episodes of "Deep Space 9," anyone in violation of that sound level was subject to arrest for disturbing the peace.

If you've seen the latest Star Trek movie you know the punishing level of noise director J.J. Abrams has unleashed on audiences. Several viewers have praised the movie but criticized its noise level. One of them, Kathy McEnearney of Virginia, even wrote to the theatre company where she saw the IMAX version of the film to complain. She said on Facebook the decibel level "was painfully loud" and "my ears are still ringing — even after putting some tissue in the ears to deaden the sound. The movie is great, but the sound level made for a very uncomfortable experience."

Excessive noise at summer blockbusters is nothing new and "Star Trek Into Darkness" isn't the only 2013 film coming under criticism for its decibel count, which often tops 100 decibels. Normal conversation occurs at around 60 decibels while noise that is sustained at 85 decibels is considered a threat to human hearing.

Film critic Sam Allard calls out the Superman flick "Man of Steel," which he says "escalates to unprecedented decibels in just about every scene" and such intense volume makes "you long desperately for earplugs and a moment of on-screen calm."

In 2010, the Ear, Nose and Throat Journal conducted a study into the effects of movie noise and wrote: "Our findings suggest that the sound levels of many movies might be harmful to hearing."

Connect Hearing, Canada's leading network of hearing-health clinics, suggests film-goers always carry ear plugs, especially at venues like movie theatres and concert halls where excessive noise can be expected.

"It's clear that Hollywood isn't going to change its ways, so it's up to each of us to make sure we adopt new practices to protect our hearing health. Carrying ear plugs is a must and so is getting your hearing checked so you ensure you stay connected to the sounds you love," says MJ DeSousa, the Connect Hearing Director of Professional Practice.

Connect Hearing offers complimentary hearing tests across the country. Visit to find a clinic near to you.

Media Contact: 
Deb Morse, Elevation PR
Phone: 250.658.8104

Twitter: @Connect_Hearing

Facebook: ConnectHearingCanada

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