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CP Startle Reflex at the Cinema & Audio Description Headphones

the_velvet_girlthe_velvet_girl Member Posts: 103 Courageous
edited March 2017 in Disabled people
I have a severe startle reflex and normally try to avoid going to the cinema but I have to go next week for a relative's birthday. I've used ear plugs before to try and reduce my startle response but they didn't really work. I'm now considering trying the audio description headphones and wondering if anybody has any experience of these? I had considered listening to some music through my own headphones but I'm worried my music might disturb others during quiet parts of the film. If anyone has any advice on minimising the startle reflex at the cinema I'd be grateful. The last time I went to the cinema a few years ago, I jumped so high during a horror film trailer I lost sitting balance and fell out of my seat. The couple in front of me complained to the cinema staff as I kept accidentally kicking their seats when I jumped. The people behind also started tutting every time I jumped and jokingly offered me a Calms tablet at the end. I am now very anxious about going back to the cinema.


  • AlexAlex Scope Posts: 1,324 Pioneering
    Hi @the_velvet_girl

    What film are you going to see?

    Hopefully it won't be one with too many startling moments.

    I wonder if there's any way to avoid or prepare for those moments - for example you could skip the trailers. There's an app called "Run Pee" which identifies the boring moments in films (so you can run to the loo!), what you need is the opposite! 

    I imagine the audio description headphones won't help too much because they'll still have the film audio, although I guess you'd be able to turn it down. Have you tried noise-cancelling headphones? They might work better than ear plugs.

  • the_velvet_girlthe_velvet_girl Member Posts: 103 Courageous
    We are going to see I Daniel Blake.There shouldn't be too many jumpy moments but I think there may be a bit of shouting which can sometimes make me startle.
    That Run Pee app is a good idea. I hadn't heard of it before. It wouldn't work for me on this occasion though as I need a wee hand to get down the steps in the cinema and can imagine my family getting annoyed if I constantly need the loo.
    Does anyone know if you can plug your own headphones in to the audio description unit? I have good quality over the ear style noise cancelling headphones and I'm thinking that if I lower the volume down on the audio description unit so that I can only just hear the dialogue, the noise cancelling headphones might drown out a good part of the cinema sound.
    I'm also planning on increasing my Tizanidine so that hopefully my muscle spasms if I startle won't be as sore and I won't fall off my seat again. I might even be able to get a fly nap as I do get quite tired if I increase my dose!
  • AlexAlex Scope Posts: 1,324 Pioneering
    I've heard lots of good things about I Daniel Blake (well, depressing story, but brilliantly told).

    Are you sure that audio description is available for that screening? The cinema I use doesn't do them for every screening (I'm not sure why!) and it works through wireless headphones - so you can't use your own.

  • the_velvet_girlthe_velvet_girl Member Posts: 103 Courageous
    I'll have to phone the cinema and check. I had just assumed that all showings were audio described. Thanks for letting me know about that.
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