You are not alone. A lot of people complain about the level of the sound track in the cinema. There are limits to the levels of all types of sounds - most speakers have limiters on them for the output of the sound available. Determining when sounds become dangerous is a combination of the level of the sound and how long you are exposed to it . Anything over about 80dB can be dangerous if you are exposed to it for long enough (and sounds less than 80dB can certainly be very annoying). If it is uncomfortable for you then I would advise next time you are at the cinema (or go to see a band or engage in a noisy activity such as using power tools) then you should use hearing protection - earplugs can be slipped in quite easily - you should still be able to hear the movie soundtrack (often better) but at a lower level and cutting out some of the background noise. For power tools, earplugs or earmuffs can be used to reduce the sound pressure at the eardrum. You do need to be careful about how they are worn – hanging the earmuffs around the neck doesn’t help! The National Acoustics Laboratory website also has some great information on noise exposure at

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