Back in the old days they were known as “books-on-tape”. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. These days, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
With an audiobook, you can listen to the book being read by a narrator. It’s sort of like having someone read a book aloud to you (okay, it’s just that). You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an engaging tale, and experience ideas you were never aware of. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re most likely rather interested about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds laborious like homework.
Auditory training is a special form of listening, designed to help you improve your ability to process, comprehend, and interpret sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). One of the main uses of auditory training is to help people learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
That’s because when you have neglected hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become used to being in a less noisy environment.) So when you get a new set of hearing aids, your brain suddenly has to cope with an influx of extra information. When this happens, your brain will find it hard, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. Auditory training can be a useful tool to help deal with this. (As a side note, auditory training is also useful for those who have language learning difficulties or auditory processing disorders).
Think of it like this: It’s not really that audiobooks can sharpen your hearing, it’s that they can help you better distinguish what you hear.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain distinguish sound again is precisely what auditory training is created to do. If you think about it, people have a very complex relationship with noise. Every single sound you hear has some significance. It’s a lot for your brain to process. The idea is that audiobooks are an excellent way to help your brain get accustomed to that process again, especially if you’re breaking in a brand-new pair of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in a number of different ways, including the following:
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get accustomed to hearing and comprehending speech again. 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 a great way to practice understanding words!
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than only the hearing part. People with hearing loss frequently also deal with social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a bit rusty. Audiobooks can make communication a lot easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to increase their vocabulary? The more words you’re exposed to, the larger your vocabulary will become. Let your stunning new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps 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 queued up for any situation.
- 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 accustomed to a new set of hearing aids, it may 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.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to understand it! When you follow the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice differentiating speech. Your brain requires practice helping concepts take root in your mind by practicing connecting those concepts to words. In your daily life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical copy of your audiobook is definitely recommended. This will help make those linguistic associations stronger in your brain, and your brain could adapt faster to the new auditory signals. It’s definitely a great way to enhance your auditory training experience. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
It’s also very easy to get thousands of audiobooks. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. A wide variety of online vendors sell them, including Amazon. Anywhere you find yourself, you can cue one up 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 effect (and there are podcasts on practically every topic). Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced together.
Can I listen to audiobooks with my hearing aids
Bluetooth capability is a feature that comes with many modern hearing aids. Meaning, you can connect your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. This means you don’t need to place cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to play an audiobook. You can use your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get better sound quality and greater convenience.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So if you think your hearing may be on the way out, or you’re concerned about getting used to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.