Frequently Asked Questions

Hearing Impaired Ringers


Noise-Induced Hearing Loss - NIHL Hearing Impaired Ringers

  What about hearing impaired ringers?

There is much discussion that handbells, particularly the smaller, higher pitched handbells, causing hearing problems.  The situation is aggravated when the ringer leans over the table and rings the bells high, with the bell near the ears.

For the best advice, a consultation with an audiologist is recommended.   A trained professional will evaluate the problem, both from the handbell output and the the person's present hearing status, and make recommendations as to prevention of further hearing loss. Some audiologists recommend the use of Musician's Earplugs.

Helmuth R. Litfin   has posted the following information concerning Earplugs from Etymotic Research.  We offer this as information only as a source where you may purchase earplugs.  We strongly recommend, however, your contacting a professional if you are experiencing hearing loss.

General description of musician earplugs available:

Other products from Etymotic Research:

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Noise-Induced Hearing Loss  (NIHL)

During a discussion on Handbell-l, Tim McDonough did a quick search and posted the following:   says:  (worthy checking  jmk)

What sounds cause NIHL?

NIHL can be caused by a one-time exposure to loud sound as well as by repeated exposure to sounds at various loudness levels over an extended period of time.  The loudness of sound is measured in units called decibels. For example, usual conversation is approximately 60 decibels, the humming of a refrigerator is 40 decibels and city traffic noise can be 80 decibels. Examples of sources of loud noises that cause NIHL are motorcycles, firecrackers and small arms fire, all emitting sounds from 120 decibels to 140 decibels. Sounds of less than 75 decibels, even after long exposure, are unlikely to cause hearing loss.

And   adds:

How loud is too loud?

110 decibels: regular exposure of more than 1minute risks permanent hearing loss.

100 decibels: no more than 15 minutes unprotected exposure recommended.

90 decibels: prolonged exposure to any noise above 90 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss.

To avoid hearing loss from impulse noise exposure, never expose a child to a sound above 120 decibels.

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