In the past they were known as “books-on-tape”. Naturally, that was long before CDs, not to mention digital streaming. These days, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, is a much better name).
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s a bit like when you were a kid and a parent or teacher read to you. You can engage with new ideas, get swept away in a story, or learn something new. Audiobooks are a great way to pass the time and enrich your mind.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re probably rather interested about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds laborious like homework.
As a skilled form of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and distinguish sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We frequently talk about auditory training from the perspective of getting used to a set of hearing aids.
That’s because when you have untreated hearing loss, your brain can slowly grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become used to living in a less noisy environment.) So your brain will need to deal with a huge increase of new auditory information when you get new hearing aids. Practically, this usually means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it generally does (at least, not at first). Consequently, auditory training often becomes a helpful exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also helpful for people with language learning difficulties or auditory processing disorders).
Another perspective: It’s not so much that audiobooks can sharpen your hearing, it’s that they can help you better distinguish what you hear.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain make sense of sound again is exactly what auditory training is created to do. Humans have a rather complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound means something. Your brain has to do a lot of work. The concept is that audiobooks are a great way to help your brain get used to that process again, particularly if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids.
Here are a few ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing completely. When you follow along with the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice distinguishing speech. Your brain needs practice linking words to concepts, and helping those concepts remain rooted in your mind. In your day-to-day life, this will help you distinguish what people are saying to you.
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll remain focused and engaged for longer periods of time. Perhaps it’s been some time since you’ve been able to engage in a complete conversation, particularly if you’re getting used to a new set of hearing aids. You might require some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most people would love to broaden their vocabulary. The more words you’re exposed to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Impress your friends by using amazingly apt words. Maybe that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your meal at that restaurant is sumptuous. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words ready for any situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it isn’t only the hearing part that can need some practice. Hearing loss can often bring about social isolation which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can make communication a great deal easier by helping you get a handle on pronunciation.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get used to hearing and comprehending speech again. During normal conversations, however, you will have far less control than you get with an audiobook. You can rewind if you don’t understand something and listen to something as many times as you want to. It’s the perfect way to practice understanding words!
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is highly advisable. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic connections stronger. It’s definitely a great way to enhance your auditory training adventure. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
It’s also really easy to get thousands of audiobooks. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. You can easily purchase them from Amazon or other online vendors. Anywhere you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And you can also get podcasts on just about every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you want to listen to. You can improve your hearing and enrich your mind at the same time!
Can I listen to audiobooks with my hearing aids
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that is included with many contemporary hearing aids. So all of your Bluetooth-equipped devices, including your phone, your tv, and your speakers, can be paired with your hearing aids. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and greater convenience.
Consult us about audiobooks
So if you believe your hearing may be starting to go, or you’re uneasy about getting used to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.