We used to call them books-on-tape, way back when. Naturally, that was long before CDs, not to mention digital streaming. Nowadays, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, is a far better name).
With an audiobook, you will listen to the book as it’s being read by a narrator. It’s a bit like when you were younger and a parent or teacher read to you. You can connect with new concepts, get swept away in a story, or discover something new. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.
Turns out, they’re also a fantastic way to achieve some auditory training.
Auditory training – what is it?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you ask? It sounds laborious like homework.
As a skilled form of listening, auditory training is created to give you a better ability to perceive, process, and comprehend sounds (known medically 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 unaddressed hearing loss, your brain can slowly grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become used to being in a quieter environment.) So when you get a new pair of hearing aids, your brain suddenly 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. Consequently, auditory training frequently becomes a useful exercise. Also, for those who are coping 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 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 used to distinguishing sounds again. People have a rather complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound you hear has some significance. It’s a lot for your brain to process. The concept is that audiobooks are a great way to help your brain get accustomed to that process again, especially if you’re breaking in a brand-new set of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in various different ways, including the following:
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than just the hearing part. Hearing loss can often bring on social isolation which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can help you get a grip on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication much easier!
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to understand it! When you follow along with the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice distinguishing speech. Your brain needs practice joining words to concepts, and helping those concepts remain rooted in your mind. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your day-to-day life.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? Your vocabulary will get stronger as you’re exposed to more words. Impress your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe those potatoes look dubious, or you’re worried that bringing your friends to the bar will really exacerbate your problems with your boyfriend. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words queued up for any situation.
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll remain focused and involved for longer periods of time. Maybe it’s been a while 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.
- 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 will with an audiobook. You can rewind if you can’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. This works really well for practicing following words.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical copy 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 inputs. In essence, it’s the perfect way to bolster your auditory training. Because hearing aids are complemented 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. You can easily purchase them from Amazon or other online sellers. And you can listen to them anywhere on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on nearly every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you want to listen to. You can improve your hearing and enrich your mind at the same time!
Can I listen to audiobooks with my hearing aids
A wide variety of contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. This means you can connect your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Rather, you can listen directly through your hearing aids.
This creates a simpler process and a higher quality sound.
Talk to us about audiobooks
So come in and talk to us if you’re worried about having trouble getting accustomed to your hearing aids or if you think you might be experiencing hearing loss.