by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
Did you ever wonder why as people become more and more inebriated, they talk louder and louder? You probably thought they were just losing their inhibitions—and rightly so—but that is not the whole story.
The surprising truth is that the more intoxicated people become, the worse their hearing gets. That is why as people become more and more intoxicated, their voices get louder and louder. They just don’t hear as well when inebriated. (1)
No wonder “watering holes” become so noisy as the evening progresses. They even have a name for it, “Cocktail Deafness”. Fortunately, the hearing loss is temporary. When you sober up, your hearing returns to normal again.
Another interesting finding is that hearing loss from drinking is mostly in the lower frequencies. No wonder patrons on the dance floor want the bass cranked up so loud.
(1) Healthy Hearing. http://www.healthyhearing.com/hearing_library/article_content.asp?article_id=815