We used to call them books-on-tape, way back when. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. Today, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s sort of like having someone read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s exactly that). You can engage with new ideas, get swept away in a story, or discover something new. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.
Turns out, they’re also a fantastic way to accomplish some auditory training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re most likely pretty interested about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds laborious like homework.
Auditory training is a specialized form of listening, developed 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 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 have to cope 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. Auditory training can be a useful tool to help deal with this. Also, for individuals who are dealing with auditory processing disorders or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a helpful tool.
Think of it like this: It’s not really that audiobooks can improve your hearing, it’s that they can help you better understand what you hear.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain make sense of sound again is exactly what auditory training is created to do. People have a pretty complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound you hear has some significance. Your brain needs to do a lot of work. The concept 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 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 bit more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to understand them. This works really well for practicing following words.
- Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing entirely. Audiobooks give you practice processing and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice helping concepts take root in your mind by practicing joining those ideas to words. In your everyday life, this will help you distinguish what people are saying to you.
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll remain focused and engaged for longer periods of time. 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 might need some practice tuning in and staying focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? The more words you’re subjected to, the larger your vocabulary will become. Let your stunning new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your dinner at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you find the right word for the right situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it isn’t just the hearing part that can need some practice. People with hearing loss frequently also deal with social isolation, and that can leave their communication skills a little rusty. Audiobooks can help you get a handle on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication a lot easier!
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is highly recommended. This will help make those linguistic connections stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt faster to the new auditory signals. In essence, it’s the perfect way to strengthen your auditory training. Because hearing aids are complemented 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. 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 pretty much 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 use my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
Lots of modern hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. This means you can connect your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your tv, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. 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 leads to a simpler process and a higher quality sound.
Consult us about audiobooks
So if you think your hearing may be starting to go, or you’re worried about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.