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Restaurant noise can hurt hearing

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Some U.S. restaurants are so noisy that customers' and employees' hearing can be hurt over time, according to a Purdue University audiologist.

Loud restaurants can also become impossible places for people with hearing loss to visit with friends and families, says Robert Novak, a clinical professor of audiology.

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"There are roughly 25-plus million people with significant hearing loss, and that number is on the increase with the aging of the baby boomer population," Novak says.

"Eating out may be one of the few opportunities older people have to socialize with others, and I am concerned that some of these noisy environments will keep people away from the important relationships in their lives."

People should be able to have a conversation when three feet apart without shouting or asking for frequent repetition, and if they can't, the environment is too loud or it is possible that one or both people could have a hearing problem and should make an appointment with an audiologist, advises Novak.

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