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What to look out for when dining in a loud restaurant

"by " Albert Stein

When choosing a restaurant for your next meal out, you not only want somewhere that has an excellent menu and a good reputation, but also somewhere with a bit of atmosphere.

While having a buzzing floor full of chatty diners looks a promising sign of a restaurant's popularity, when combined with the sounds of the kitchen and background music, things can become particularly noisy. 

In addition, the indoor sound level may not only be an impediment to having a coherent conversation, it can also have the side affect of making you eat faster, according to a study done by Fairfield University. 

According to Dr David Fabry from Starkey Hearing Technologies, prolonged exposure to environments where the average decibel count is nearing 100 could contribute to hearing loss*, as reported by Kare 11 News. 

"If you're going to a restaurant where they have a live band or live entertainment, or they're trying to create that atmosphere that is lively, 100 decibels for an hour's duration of dinner places you at risk for permanent loss," said Dr Fabry. 

Heres what you should be aware of when choosing a table

  • Restaurants which are carpeted, or have fabric coverings/leather padding on the walls as well as table cloths are more likely to absorb sound.

  • See if you can choose a table away from any speakers or the kitchen, or request a quiet table if you are calling ahead to make reservations. 

  • You can also test out the noise levels in a busy restaurant through smartphone apps such as SoundCheck or Decibel 10th. 

If you're interested in learning more about preserving your hearing or want to check your hearing, click here or call 1800 340 631 to book a hearing check-up with your local Audika clinic.

*Roballey, Thomas C; et al, The effects of music on eating behaviour. Accessed April 7, 2015. Available here. 

*Sarigianopoulos, R., Loud restaurants becoming new dining trend. Accessed April 7, 2015. Available here.