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Clinical Tests of Hearing

  1. Finger friction test
  2. Watch test
  3. Speech tests
  4. Tuning fork tests
Tuning fork tests
These tests are performed with tuning forks of 512 Hz. (m/c). Other frequencies – 256, 1024 db also used.
  1. Rinne test. In this test air conduction of the ear is compared with its bone conduction.
    1. Rinne test is called positive when AC is longer or louder that BC. It is seen in normal persons or those having sensorineural deafness.
    2. A negative Rinne (BC > AC) is seen in conductive deafness. A negative Rinne indicates a minimum air-bone
      gap of 15-20 dB.
    3. False negative Rinne. It is seen in severe unilateral sensorineural hearing loss.
  2. Weber test.
    Normally, it is heard equally in both ears. It is lateralized to the worse ear in conductive deafness and to the better ear in sensorineural deafness.
  3. Absolute bone conduction (ABC)
    In ABC test, patients bone conduction is compared with that of the examiner (presuming that the examiner has normal hearing).
  4. Schwabach’s test.
    Here again BC patient is compared with that of the normal hearing person (examiner) but meatus is occluded.
  5. Bing test.
  6. Gellé’s tests

Table: Tuning fork tests and their interpretation.

Test             Normal                 Conductive                    Sensineural H Loss                                                                 

Rinne          AC > BC(Rinne positive)    BC > AC (Rinne negative)       AC > BC

Weber         Not lateralized                  Lateralized to poorer ear         Lateralized ear to better  


ABC              Same as examiner’s          Same as examiner’s              Reduced

Schwabach     Equal                              Lengthened                          Shortened


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