Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, once upon a time. Naturally, that was long before CDs, not to mention digital streaming. These days, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
With an audiobook, you will listen to the book being read by a narrator. It’s kind of like when you were younger and a parent or teacher read to you. You can connect with new ideas, get swept away in a story, or learn something new. Audiobooks are an excellent way to pass time and enhance your mind.
As it turns out, they’re also a wonderful way to achieve some auditory training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re probably pretty curious about what exactly 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”). One of the principal uses of auditory training is to help people learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
That’s because when you have unaddressed 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 have to deal with a substantial influx of new auditory information when you get new hearing aids. Practically, this often means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it generally does (at least, not initially). Auditory training can be a practical tool to help handle this. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for people who have language learning difficulties or auditory processing disorders).
Another perspective: Audio books won’t necessarily make you hear clearer, but they will help you better distinguish what you’re hearing.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain make sense of sound again is precisely what auditory training is designed to do. If you think about it, humans have a really complex relationship with noise. Every sound means something. Your brain has to do a lot of work. So if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain become accustomed to hearing and understanding again.
Here are a number of ways audiobooks can help with auditory training:
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your attention longer, with a little help from your audiobook pals. After all, if you’re getting accustomed to a new pair of hearing aids, it might have been a while since you last engaged in and listened to a full conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most people would love to broaden their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Perhaps that guy standing outside the bar looks innocuous, or your meal at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
- Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, understanding it is another thing entirely. Audiobooks give you practice processing and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice connecting words to concepts, and helping those concepts stay rooted in your mind. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your day-to-day life.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than just the hearing part. Hearing loss can often bring on social isolation which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can help you get a handle on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication a lot smoother!
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get accustomed to hearing and comprehending speech again. But you also have a bit more control than you would during a regular old conversation. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to distinguish them. It’s the perfect way to practice understanding words!
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is absolutely advisable. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio signals making those linguistic connections stronger. It’s definitely a great way to enhance your auditory training experience. That’s because audiobooks enhance hearing aids.
It’s also really easy to get thousands of audiobooks. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. You can instantly get them from Amazon or other online vendors. And you can hear them at any time 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 improve your mind simultaneously!
Can I listen to audiobooks through my hearing aids
A wide variety of modern hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. This means you can pair your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. This means you don’t have to place cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to play an audiobook. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get better sound quality and greater convenience.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So come in and speak with us if you’re concerned about having difficulty getting accustomed to your hearing aids or if you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss.