SUMMER BLOCKBUSTERS CAN CAUSE HEARING DAMAGE
Connect Hearing says action scenes in films like 'The Avengers' and 'Dark Knight Rises' will traumatize our auditory system.
Victoria, B.C. (June 18, 2012) — All great blockbuster movies consist of a few key ingredients, heroes, villains, attractive women and plenty of action. With action though, often comes noise, loud noise.
“While many of us love the action, music and atmosphere at the movie theatre, we often don’t realize just how loud the sound is,” says MJ DeSousa, Director of Professional Practice at Victoria's Connect Hearing, Canada's largest network of hearing-health clinics. “A movie is a great family activity, but it’s usually afterwards, when we leave the theatre with our ears still ringing that we realize just how deafening it was.”
Depending on the movie and the sound distribution in the theatre, noise levels are often on average between 80 to 100 decibels, but have been recorded as high as 135, well above the "safe" noise level of 85 decibels.
“An even greater concern is that noise levels are not predetermined by movie genre. PG-rated movies are frequently at a dangerously high decibel level,” DeSousa says, noting that more and more Canadians below age 40 are suffering from hearing-related health issues.
A study conducted by the Ear, Nose and Throat Journal in 2010 recorded the highest decibel levels that summer during the following movies: Transformers (133.9), License to Wed (129.1) and The Simpsons Movie (128.6).
With summer blockbuster season here, movies such as The Avengersand the upcoming Dark Knight Rises are guaranteed to have plenty of action scenes, including gunshots, explosions and crashing vehicles; all with loud music in the background.
So how do you protect the hearing health of your family?
“Being aware of the potential dangers of exposure to loud noise is half of the battle,” DeSousa says. “If possible ask your local movie theatres about their maximum noise level policy before you select a theatre. Take earplugs for everyone and enjoy.”
Listed below are Connect Hearing's top five "earplug-worthy" movies of all time:
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (arguably the loudest movie ever made)
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Star Wars, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
For more information on sound levels and human response visit http://www.canadianhearingsociety.com.
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