Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, once upon a time. Naturally, that was long before CDs, much less digital streaming. Nowadays, people call them audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a far better name).
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s kind of like when you were a kid and a parent or teacher read to you. You can engage with new concepts, get swept up in a story, or discover something new. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
What’s auditory training?
So you’re most likely pretty curious about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds complex and an awful lot like school.
Auditory training is a special type of listening, created to help you enhance your ability to process, perceive, and decipher sounds (known medically 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 gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become used to living in a quieter environment.) So your brain will need to cope with a huge influx of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. When this happens, your brain will find it difficult, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. Consequently, auditory training frequently becomes a useful exercise. Also, for people who are dealing with auditory processing disorders or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Think of it like this: It’s not so much that audiobooks can sharpen your hearing, it’s that they can help you better understand what you hear.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Auditory training was created to help your brain get accustomed to distinguishing sounds again. People have a rather complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound you hear has some meaning. Your brain needs to do a lot of work. The idea is that audiobooks are a great way to help your brain get used to that process again, particularly if you’re breaking in a brand-new set of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in a few different ways, including the following:
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice comprehending someone else’s speech. But you also have a bit more control than you would during a regular old conversation. You can listen to sentences as many times as you need to in order to understand them. It’s an excellent way to practice understanding words!
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than just the hearing part. People with hearing loss often also deal with social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a bit out of practice. Audiobooks can make communication much easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
- Listening comprehension: Hearing speech is one thing, understanding it is another thing completely. When you follow the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice distinguishing speech. Your brain requires practice helping concepts take root in your mind by practicing linking those concepts to words. In your everyday life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your attention longer, with some help from your audiobook friends. 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 pair of hearing aids. An audiobook can give you some practice in remaining focused and tuned in.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to increase their vocabulary? Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Let your stunning new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your food at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you find the right word for the right situation.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical copy of your audiobook is absolutely advisable. This will help make those linguistic connections stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt more quickly to the new auditory signals. In essence, it’s the perfect way to reinforce your auditory training. That’s because audiobooks complement hearing aids.
Audiobooks are also nice because they’re pretty easy to come by right now. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. You can instantly get them from Amazon or other online vendors. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on just about every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you want to listen to. You can sharpen your hearing and enrich your mind simultaneously!
Can I listen to audiobooks with my hearing aids
A wide variety of contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. This means you can connect your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. With this, when you listen to an audiobook, you won’t have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Rather, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and increased convenience.
Consult us about audiobooks
So if you think your hearing may be starting to go, or you’re concerned about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.