Back in the old days they were known as “books-on-tape”. Naturally, that was well before CDs, much less digital streaming. Today, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
With an audiobook, you will 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 can engage with new concepts, get swept up in a story, or discover something new. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.
As it turns out, they’re also a great way to achieve some auditory training.
Auditory training – what is it?
Wait, wait, wait, what’s this auditory training thing, you may ask? It sounds laborious like homework.
Auditory training is a special type of listening, designed to help you enhance your ability to process, comprehend, and interpret sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). One of the principal uses of auditory training is to help individuals learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
That’s because when you have untreated hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become accustomed to living in a less noisy environment.) So when you get a new pair of hearing aids, your brain abruptly has to cope with an increase of extra information. When this takes place, your brain will find it difficult, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. As a result, auditory training frequently becomes a useful exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also useful for individuals with language learning difficulties or auditory processing disorders).
Another perspective: Audio books won’t necessarily make you hear clearer, but they will help you better understand what you’re hearing.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain make sense of sound again is precisely what auditory training is created to do. People have a pretty complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound signifies something. It’s a lot for your brain to absorb. So if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain get used to hearing and comprehending again.
Here are a few ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to understand it! Audiobooks give you practice processing and understanding what is being talked about. Your brain needs practice joining words to concepts, and helping those concepts stay rooted in your mind. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your day-to-day life.
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll remain focused and engaged for longer periods of time. Perhaps it’s been some time since you’ve been able to participate in a complete conversation, particularly if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most people would love to increase their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get stronger as you’re exposed to more words. Let your stunning new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps those potatoes look dubious, or you’re worried that bringing your friends to the bar will really exacerbate your issues with your boyfriend. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words ready for any situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than only 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 help you get a grip on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication a lot smoother!
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice understanding somebody else’s speech. 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 understand them. This works really well for practicing following words.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical copy of your audiobook is definitely recommended. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic connections stronger. It’s definitely a good way to enhance your auditory training experience. That’s because audiobooks complement hearing aids.
It’s also very easy to get thousands of audiobooks. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. You can instantly get them from Amazon or other online sellers. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And you can also get podcasts on just about 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 play audiobooks?
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that comes with many contemporary hearing aids. So all of your Bluetooth-enabled devices, including your phone, your tv, 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.
This results in a simpler process and a higher quality sound.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So if you believe your hearing may be starting to go, or you’re uneasy about getting used to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.