Back in the old days they were called “books-on-tape”. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs let alone streaming services. Nowadays, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, to be honest, 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’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an enchanting story, and explore ideas you were never aware of. Audiobooks are a great way to pass the time and enhance your mind.
As it turns out, they’re also a great way to achieve some auditory training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re probably pretty interested about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds laborious like homework.
As a specialized form of listening, auditory training is created to give you a better ability to perceive, process, and understand sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We often talk about auditory training from the perspective of getting used to a pair of 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 quieter environment.) So your brain will need to deal with a big increase 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 normally does (at least, not initially). Auditory training can be a useful tool to help deal with this. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for individuals with language learning difficulties or auditory processing conditions).
Another perspective: Audio books won’t really make you hear clearer, but they will help you better distinguish what you’re hearing.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Auditory training was designed to help your brain get used to making sense out of sounds again. If you think about it, people have a really complex relationship with noise. Every single sound signifies something. Your brain needs 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, especially if you’re breaking in a brand-new set of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in various different ways, including the following:
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll frequently need practice with more than only the hearing part. 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 grip on pronunciation.
- Listening comprehension: Hearing 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 connecting words to concepts, and helping those concepts remain rooted in your mind. In your daily life, this will help you distinguish what people are saying to you.
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll stay focused and engaged for longer periods of time. Maybe it’s been some time since you’ve been able to engage in a full conversation, especially if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids. You may need some practice tuning in and staying focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Let your impressive new words impress all of your friends. Maybe those french fries look dubious, or you’re worried that bringing your friends along to the bar will really exacerbate your issues with your boyfriend. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get used to hearing and understanding speech again. But you also have a little more control than you would during a regular old conversation. You can rewind if you can’t understand something and listen to something as many times as you want to. It’s an excellent way to practice understanding words!
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is absolutely advisable. 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 great way to enhance your auditory training experience. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
It’s also very 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 sellers. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on nearly every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. You can improve your hearing and improve your mind at the same time!
Can I utilize my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
Bluetooth capability is a feature that comes with many contemporary hearing aids. So all of your Bluetooth-enabled devices, including your phone, your television, and your speakers, can be connected with your hearing aids. With this, when you listen to 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.
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 think you might be experiencing hearing loss.