Baby Driver Movie Highlights Tinnitus as Superpower

If you are one of the millions of people with tinnitus, you likely don't think of your tinnitus as a “super power”. But the “hum in the drum” that main character Baby experiences in the crime-thriller movie Baby Driver acts as his own unique super power, a very different way of thinking about tinnitus.

Baby soundtracks his entire life with music to drown out the tinnitus, but what he really gets is a calming effect in high-stress situations, sharp focus, enhanced senses and ultimately super driving skills.

Baby and other tinnitus sufferers aim to drown out their tinnitus using music or white noise. These external sounds are used to “mask” the tinnitus sound. Baby relies on his many iPods filled with songs for different moods. Instead of the music and earbuds cutting him off from the world, it seems to make him more in tune to the world around him.

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Music is often a good source of masking for people with tinnitus because music in and of itself can be a relaxer or mood enhancer. Baby's use of music not only helps to drown out his tinnitus, but also helps calm any anxiety he would likely feel in those high-stress getaway driving scenes. Even when things look grim, he remains calm, cool, and collected. His crazy and intense driving escape is synchronized to a song, helping to aid in his concentration.

While each person's perception of their tinnitus is slightly different, tinnitus is defined as a perception of sound with no external source. Many people describe it as a ring, hum, buzz, static in their head or ears.

We get a short glimpse of Baby's tinnitus in the movie when his iPod is taken from him. For moviegoers that have never experienced tinnitus themselves, Baby Driver gives them a glimpse of this condition that affects 50 million Americans or more.

It is important to keep in mind that loud music, loud cars, and gunfire (frequently combined in the movie) can make tinnitus worse. But sound therapy (i.e. music) can help relieve tinnitus for many people as long as it is used with guidance from a professional.

Be sure to see an Audiologist who specializes in tinnitus before beginning any sound therapy treatment for your tinnitus. If nothing else, Baby Driver has brought more awareness to tinnitus, and perhaps even helped to change the attitude of some with tinnitus as a “super power” instead of a “super problem”.

We give this movie 2 thumbs up!

Update: As of August 2017, Baby Driver has now grossed over $100M at the domestic box office.

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