Life / Health

Hearing experts suggest moviegoers bring earplugs

With loads of special effects and airbrushed Hollywood stars, summer blockbusters may be easy on the eyes, but a group of Canadian hearing experts says they're hard on the ears.

Citing a study that found the sound levels of many movies might be harmful, Connect Hearing is urging audiences to bring earplugs with them when they go to the cinema.

"Movies seem to be getting louder and louder, but they're not subject to the same regulation as occupational noise," said audiologist MJ DeSousa.

According to DeSousa, sustained noise over 85 decibels can result in hearing damage and loss. However, many blockbuster action films, including this year's Star Trek sequel and Man of Steel, often push past 100 dB. Parts of the recent Transformers series even tip the scales at 134 dB.

"That's just a ridiculously loud sound," said DeSousa. "It can actually cause pain."

A typical gunshot is around 140 dB.

In terms of hearing health, DeSousa also stressed what she called the "daily noise dose." Hearing damage can be cumulative, she said, so moviegoers may want to think twice before stepping out of the theatre and into a concert or nightclub.

For more information, or to schedule a free hearing test, visit Connect Hearing's website.

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