We used to call them books-on-tape, once upon a time. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs let alone streaming services. 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 having someone read a book aloud to you (okay, it’s exactly that). You’ll be able to discover new things, get lost in an enchanting tale, and explore ideas you never knew about. Audiobooks are a great way to pass time and enhance your mind.
And they’re also a great tool for audio training.
What’s auditory training?
So you’re probably pretty curious about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds laborious like homework.
As a skilled form of listening, auditory training is designed to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and distinguish sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). One of the principal uses of auditory training is to help individuals learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
Because untreated 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 have to cope with a huge increase of new auditory information 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 often becomes a useful exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also useful for individuals with language learning difficulties or auditory processing disorders).
Think of it like this: Audio books won’t really make you hear clearer, but they will help you better distinguish what you’re hearing.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Auditory training was created to help your brain get accustomed to distinguishing sounds again. If you think about it, humans have a really complex relationship with noise. Every single sound you hear has some meaning. It’s a lot for your brain to process. The idea 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 a number of different ways, including the following:
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with some help from your audiobook friends. 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. You may require some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most people would love to expand their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe that guy standing outside the bar looks innocuous, or your meal at that restaurant is sumptuous. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words queued up for any situation.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get accustomed to hearing and understanding speech again. During typical conversations, however, you will have a lot less control than you get with an audiobook. You can listen to sentences as many times as you need to in order to distinguish them. This works really well for practicing following words.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to comprehend it! Audiobooks help you practice digesting and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice helping concepts take root in your mind by practicing linking those ideas to words. In your daily life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than just the hearing part. People with hearing loss frequently also deal with social isolation, and that can leave their communication skills a bit rusty. Audiobooks can make communication a great deal easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical copy of your audiobook is highly recommended. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio signals making those linguistic links stronger. It’s definitely a good way to enhance your auditory training adventure. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
It’s also really easy to get thousands of audiobooks. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. Many online vendors sell them, and that includes Amazon. And you can listen to them at any time on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on just about every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced at the same time.
Can I use my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
Bluetooth capability is a feature that is included 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 play an audiobook, you won’t have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.
This results in an easier process and a higher quality sound.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So come in and talk to us if you’re concerned about having trouble getting used to your hearing aids or if you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss.