Back in the old days they were called “books-on-tape”. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. Nowadays, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a far better name).
With an audiobook, you can listen to the book being read by a narrator. It’s kind of like having somebody read a book aloud to you (okay, it’s just that). You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an engaging story, and experience ideas you were never aware of. Audiobooks are a great way to pass the time and enhance your mind.
Turns out, they’re also a wonderful way to achieve some auditory training.
What’s auditory training?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you may ask? It sounds complicated and a lot like school.
As a specialized kind of listening, auditory training is designed to give you a better ability to perceive, process, and understand sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). One of the primary uses of auditory training is to help people learn to hear with their new 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 being in a less noisy environment.) So your brain will need to deal with a big influx of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. When this occurs, your brain will find it difficult, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. Auditory training can be a practical tool to help handle this. (As a side note, auditory training is also helpful for those who have language learning difficulties or auditory processing disorders).
Think of it like this: Audio books won’t necessarily make you hear clearer, but they will help you better understand what you’re hearing.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Auditory training was created to help your brain get used to distinguishing sounds again. If you think about it, humans have a really complex relationship with noise. Every sound you hear has some significance. It’s a lot for your brain to process. The concept is that audiobooks are an ideal way to help your brain get accustomed to that process again, especially if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids.
Here are a number of ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice understanding someone else’s speech. But you also have a little 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!
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it’s not only the hearing part that can need some practice. Those who suffer with hearing loss often also deal with social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a little out of practice. Audiobooks can make communication much easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with a little help from your audiobook pals. Perhaps it’s been some time since you’ve been able to participate in a complete conversation, especially if you’re getting used to a new set of hearing aids. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to understand it! When you follow along with the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice distinguishing speech. Your brain needs practice helping ideas take root in your mind by practicing joining those concepts to words. In your everyday life, this will help you distinguish what people are saying to you.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? The more words you’re exposed to, the larger your vocabulary will become. Surprise your friends by using amazingly apt words. Perhaps that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your food at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is absolutely recommended. This will help make those linguistic connections stronger in your brain, and your brain could adapt more quickly to the new auditory inputs. It’s definitely a beneficial way to enhance your auditory training adventure. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also good because they’re pretty easy to come by right now. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. Many online vendors sell them, and that includes Amazon. And you can hear them anywhere on your phone.
Also, if you can’t find an audiobook you really like, you could always listen to a podcast to get the same effect (and there are podcasts on pretty much every topic). You can improve your hearing and improve your mind simultaneously!
Can I listen to audiobooks with my hearing aids
Bluetooth capability is a feature that comes with many contemporary hearing aids. So all of your Bluetooth-enabled devices, including your phone, your tv, and your speakers, can be connected with your hearing aids. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Rather, you can listen directly through your hearing aids.
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 concerned about getting used to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.