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The Weber & Rinne test

Tuning fork test

About the explanation, purpose and procedure of the Weber & Rinne test

In this article, learn more about the purpose and procedure of the Weber & Rinne hearing tests. If you have any concerns about your hearing health, book an appointment with a hearing care professional at Amplifon. But first, take our quick & easy hearing test online to get an initital indication of your hearing health.

Weber and Rinne test explained

The Weber test and the Rinne test can be used to diagnose what type of hearing loss a patient is suffering from. These tests can very quickly determine whether it is a case of conductive or sensorineural hearing loss.

Purpose of Rinne & Weber

When someone is suffering from a hearing impairment in one ear, the Weber and Rinne tests are performed. Early identification of a problem allows you to get early treatment so it best to undergo these tests when symptomps first surface to address any possible condition as soon as possible. These tests can also help a medical professional determine whether the patient is in need of a hearing aid.

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About the Weber test (tuning fork test)

The Weber test is the first test a patient with hearing problems undergoes. Together with the Rinne test, it enables the diagnosis of conductive or sensorineural hearing loss.

How to perform the Weber test

To perform the Weber test, the doctor places the base of a struck tuning fork on the bridge of the forehead, nose, or teeth.

The test is performs as follows:

  1. The examiner strikes a tuning fork and positions it in the middle of the patient's forehead. 
  2. With the other hand, the doctor applies counterpressure to the back of the patient's head. 
  3. The patient is asked if they can hear the tuning fork.
  4. The patient is asked whether they hear the sound more strongly on the left, right or in the middle.

Interpretation of the Weber Test

The patient is suffering from sensorineural hearing loss if they perceive the sound more intensely in the healthy ear. However, if the patient is sufffering from conductive hearing loss, they will  perceives the sound more intensely in the ear affected.

Things to know about the Rinne Test

The Rinne test is a hearing test that complements the Weber test. It is primarily used to determine whether a patient is suffering from conductive or sensorineural hearing loss.

How to perform the Rinne test

To perform the Rinner test, the doctor places the base of a struck tuning fork on the mastoid bone behind the ear.

The test is performs as follows:

  1. The examiner strikes a tuning fork and holds it to the patient's ear - at a distance of 2 cm from the external auditory canal. 
  2. After 2-3 seconds, the doctor places the foot of the tuning fork on the mastoid bone and applies lateral counterpressure with the other hand. 
  3. The patient is asked which sound they perceived more strongly.

Interpretation of the Rinne test

If the patient hears a sound when the tuning fork is place behind the ear, but not when it is held in front of their ear, they may be suffering from conductive hearing loss. However, If the patient does not respond to either stimulus, they may be suffering froml sensorineural hearing loss.

Check your hearing at Amplifon

If you think you may be experiencing hearing loss, visit your nearest Amplifon centre. To take advantage of the free consultations offered at Amplifon centres, all you need to do is visit the centre of your choice, or make an appointment online by completing our online form.  But first, before booking a consultation to undergo a more comprehensive hearing test, take our free online hearing test at the link below.

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