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February 21, 2007

Clinical Assessment of Hearing Impairment

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2007;297(7):695-696. doi:10.1001/jama.297.7.695-a

To the Editor: The Rational Clinical Examination on hearing impairment by Dr Bagai and colleagues1 provides valuable information, particularly the discussion of the usefulness of the whisper test in screening for hearing loss. However, to conclude that tests using tuning forks “are not recommended for routine screening and should no longer be part of the medical curriculum” is dismissive. Furthermore, the authors' discussion on the pathophysiology of sensorineural hearing loss omits both vestibular schwannomas and sudden sensorineural hearing loss. While neither condition is common, suspicion of either requires prompt referral to an otolaryngologist.