You Must Bring Earplugs to Movies and Concerts
It’s not just you – shows and movies can be very loud. Carrying earplugs in your purse or pocket may seem like something a nutty old man can do, but if you want to be able to complain about things like theater noise when you’re old, it’s best to protect your hearing now.
The louder the sound, the more the exposure should be limited. According to the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association, you can listen to sound below 70dB for as long as you like; 70 dB is roughly the level of a loud group conversation. But the safe limit for an eight-hour workday is 85 dB, and for a two-hour movie (constant) 91 dB.
Movies, especially action movies, can reach this range , although an accidental 100dB explosion won’t hurt your hearing as long as the rest of the movie is quieter. Concerts vary, but many are played at loud volumes that can damage your hearing.
But the exact volume doesn’t really matter if you know you are uncomfortable hearing ambient sound. You have every right to bring earplugs to any concert, movie, or event you enjoy, and probably not the only one. My husband considers himself sensitive to noise and once complained when we were queuing up for a concert that he left the earplugs at home. I just asked for a little at the checkout and they happily sold us a couple for a dollar. People do that . You are not the only one. Everything is fine.
You can get disposable earplugs for pennies at drugstores or home improvement stores, or take our Senior Video Producer Joel Kahn’s recommendation for these $ 20 noise canceling earplugs . Take care of your ears and you can worry about theater loudness even in old age.