Newswise — A basic hearing evaluation generally involves the use of tuning fork tests. In the Weber tuning fork test, the tuning fork is hit, causing it to vibrate, then placed on the midline forehead. Patients are asked if the sound forms in only one ear, or is midline. A person with normal hearing would hear the sound in the midline, but certain types of hearing loss will cause the sound to be heard in one ear more than the other.

A new study presented at the 2007 AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO suggests that an additional hearing test, the hum hearing test, is a reliable alternative to the Weber tuning fork test for initial hearing evaluation. Patients perform a hum test by simply humming to themselves, then determining whether they hear the hum in one ear, or if it is heard in the middle. The prospective study examined 100 patients over a four- month period who presented to a neurotologic clinic with hearing loss. Patients were given hearing evaluations with a tuning fork, the hum test, and a standard audiogram. The hum and Weber test had a 95 percent correlation to one another in diagnosing conductive hearing loss and a 70 percent correlation in diagnosing sensorineural hearing loss. Findings from the study could result in an easier diagnostic tool for hearing loss for otolarnygologists and general practitioners, and would require less patient instruction.

Title: Validity of the Hum Test in Predicting Hearing LossAuthors: Nora Perkins, MD, David Foyt MD, Sharon Rende, AuDDate: Tuesday, September 18, 9:02 am - 9:10 am

Information for the MediaThe AAO-HNS Annual Meeting newsroom will be located in Registration East, Street Level of the Washington, DC Convention Center. Hours of operation: Saturday, September 15, 12 pm to 5 pm; Sunday - Tuesday, September 16 -18, 7:30 am to 5 pm; and Wednesday, September 19, 7:30 am to 2 pm. The newsroom serves as a work space for credentialed members of the media and credentialed public relations staff. The newsroom is managed and staffed by the AAO-HNS Communications Unit. Please see the AAO-HNS website for media credentialing requirements for the event -

About the AAO-HNSThe American Academy of Otolaryngology " Head and Neck Surgery (, one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents more than 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals o specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's mission: "Working for the Best Ear, Nose, and Throat Care."

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2007 AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO