NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - If you have a hard time hearing conversation at a bar, it may not be because of the noise, a study suggests.
Alcohol, UK researchers found, seems to temporarily drain a person's hearing -- particularly when it comes to discerning the sounds of conversation.
In a study of 30 healthy volunteers, they found that as participants drank, their hearing became less acute. Lower-frequency hearing, which is necessary for discerning speech, suffered the most, the researchers report in the online journal BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders.
It's a "well observed phenomenon" that alcohol seems to build people's tolerance to loud noise, according to the study authors, led by Tahwinder Upile of the University College London Hospitals.
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