Hearing Loss and the Movies

Have you ever been to a movie and didn’t enjoy it because you missed all the punch lines and couldn’t hear what was going on around you? You aren’t alone! Movies can be difficult to experience when you have hearing loss. I’m sure you’ve noticed how much the volume in movies can vary, from being so loud it blasts you out of your seat to speech that is barely audible. Here are some steps to prep for some buttery popcorn and other movie treats. First off, wear your hearing aids! Hearing aids can help to regulate the volume changes that occur in the movie, while also amplifying the speech so you don’t miss a beat. If you have hearing aids and are still having difficulty, make an appointment with your audiologist so they can help optimize the hearing aid programming.

Just as closed captioning can be helpful to use while watching TV, there are similar options available at the movies. One of these options is Rear Window Captioning. With this technology you use a clear, small screen that fits in the seat cup holder next to you. The captioning displays on the screen, but does not impede your ability to see the movie. Sony has a similar concept but the movie goers wear a pair of glasses that display the captioning. Open captioning is also available at some theaters. In this way the theater projects the captioning directly onto the screen so that everyone in the theater can see it.

Another option is a looped theater. This option uses the telecoil setting in your hearing aids and delivers the movie audio directly to your hearing aids. Some theaters also have FM systems for their patrons to use. With this you wear a headset and the audio is amplified into your ears.

To know if your theater offers any of these options, give them a call or stop in and talk to the manager. Also, be on the lookout for the closed captioned and assistive listening symbols at your local theater.

To check for movie show times that offer these options near you, check out captionfish.com