Simple tuning fork, Europe, 1701-1900
Tuning forks of this type are used in audiology. They assess the extent of any hearing loss. The fork is hit against a hard surface. The resulting vibrations create a pure sound. Different forks have different pitches and volumes. Some are very deep and others are very high. There are two types of tuning fork tests in general use: the Weber test and the Rinne test. The Weber test is to see which ear a person is experiencing loss of hearing from. The Rinne test uses a tuning fork at the base of the skull and then the ear. The patient is then asked which one was louder. A person with no hearing loss says the fork nearest the ear is louder.
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Glossary: tuning fork