Back in the old days they were known as “books-on-tape”. Of course, that was long before CDs, not to mention digital streaming. Today, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
With an audiobook, you will listen to the book as it’s being read by a narrator. It’s a lot like having someone read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You’ll be able to discover new things, get lost in an enchanting story, and experience ideas you never knew about. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
As it turns out, they’re also a wonderful way to achieve some auditory training.
What’s auditory training?
So you’re probably rather interested about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds laborious like homework.
As a specialized kind of listening, auditory training is designed to give you a better ability to perceive, process, and comprehend sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). One of the primary uses of auditory training is to help individuals learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
Because neglected hearing loss can cause your hearing to become used to a quieter environment and your brain can grow out of practice. So your brain will need to deal with a significant increase 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. Consequently, auditory training often becomes a helpful exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also useful for individuals with language learning challenges or auditory processing conditions).
Another perspective: Audio books won’t necessarily 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 created to help your brain get used to making sense out of sounds again. People have a fairly complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound signifies something. It’s a lot for your brain to process. The idea is that audiobooks are an ideal way to help your brain get used to that process again, especially if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in a few different ways, including the following:
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to increase their vocabulary? The more words you’re subjected to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe that guy standing outside the bar looks innocuous, or your dinner at that restaurant is sumptuous. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words ready for any situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it’s not just the hearing part that can need a little 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 grip on pronunciation.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get used to hearing and comprehending speech again. During normal conversations, however, you will have much less control than you will with an audiobook. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to understand them. This works really well for practicing following words.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with a little help from your audiobook friends. After all, if you’re getting used 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.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive 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 concepts take root in your mind by practicing joining those ideas to words. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your daily life.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
WE recommend that, as you listen to your audiobook, you read along with a physical copy of the book too. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic connections more robust. In other words, it’s a great way to bolster your auditory training. That’s because audiobooks enhance hearing aids.
It’s also really easy to get thousands of audiobooks. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. Many online vendors sell them, including Amazon. And you can listen to them anywhere on your phone.
Plus, if you can’t find an audiobook you really like, you could always try listening to a podcast to get the same experience (and there are podcasts on pretty much every topic). Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced at the same time.
Can I use my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
Bluetooth capability is a feature that comes with many contemporary hearing aids. Meaning, you can pair your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. This means you don’t have to put cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. Instead, you can listen directly through your hearing aids.
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 talk to us if you’re worried about having trouble getting accustomed to your hearing aids or if you believe you might be experiencing hearing loss.