A 50-year-old right-handed man has presented to a neurologist because of gradually progressive hearing loss. A vibrating tuning fork is applied to the center of his forehead. This helps to establish which of the following?

a. Which ear has the wider range of frequency perception

b. Which ear has the larger external auditory meatus

c. Which ear has infection of the external ear canal

d. Which ear has the longer eustachian tube

e. Which ear has conductive or sensorineural hearing loss

the answer is below…

The United States Medical Licensing Examination, or USMLE for short, is a three-part licensing examination that is required in order to receive a license to practice medicine within the United States.

The USMLE assesses a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to determine fundamental patient-centered skills that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care. Examination committees composed of medical educators and clinicians from across the United States and its territories prepare the examination materials each year.

This exam is designed by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners to determine whether or not an individual understands and can apply the knowledge necessary to practice medicine safely and intelligently.

The USMLE is actually comprised of three different exams that are referred to as steps, which examine the individual’s knowledge of specific topics related to the field of medicine such as basic science, medical knowledge, medical skills, clinical science, and the application of all of these skills and areas of knowledge in the medical field.

All three steps of the USMLE include a series of computerized multiple-choice questions, but the format of the exam and the information covered in each multiple-choice section is different for each step of the USMLE. The USMLE Step II also has a clinical skills portion that examines an individual’s ability to work with real patients and the USMLE Step III has a computerized patient simulation portion in addition to the multiple-choice section of the exam. In order for an individual to receive a license to practice medicine, the individual must pass all three steps of the USMLE.

Medical doctors with an M.D. degree are required to pass this examination before being permitted to practice medicine in the United States of America.

The correct answer is e; Which ear has conductive or sensorineural hearing loss.[1]

The vibrations from a tuning fork placed on top of the head are transmitted through the skull to both ears. Bone conduction of sound through the skull should be equal in both ears. With sensorineural hearing loss, the patient will hear the midline fork more loudly in the unaffected ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is the deafness that develops with injury to the receptor cells in the cochlea or to the cochlear division of the auditory nerve.

In conductive hearing loss, the vibrations of the tuning fork are perceived as louder in the affected ear. With this type of hearing loss, the injury is in the system of membranes and ossicles designed to focus the sound on the cochlea. Impairment of the conductive system causes the vibrations of the tuning fork to be transmitted to the cochlea directly through the skull. Much like a person with cotton stuffed into the external auditory meati, the patient with the conductive hearing loss has impaired perception of sound coming from around him or her but an enhanced perception of his or her own voice. This type of tuning fork test is called the Weber test.