Back in the old days they were called “books-on-tape”. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. These days, people call them audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, is a far better name).
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s a lot like having someone read a book aloud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You can connect with new concepts, get swept away in a story, or learn something new. Audiobooks are a great way to pass the time and enrich your mind.
And they’re also an ideal tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
Wait, wait, wait, what’s this auditory training thing, you ask? It sounds complex and an awful lot like school.
As a skilled kind of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and understand sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We often talk about auditory training from the context of getting accustomed to a pair of hearing aids.
That’s because when you have unaddressed hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become accustomed to being in a less noisy environment.) So when you get a new pair of hearing aids, your brain suddenly has to deal with an increase of additional information. Practically, this usually means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it normally does (at least, not at first). Auditory training can be a useful tool to help handle this. Also, for individuals who are dealing with auditory processing conditions or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a helpful tool.
Think of it like this: 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?
Auditory training was designed to help your brain get accustomed to making sense out of sounds again. If you think about it, humans have a really complex relationship with noise. Every single sound signifies something. Your brain needs to do a lot of work. So if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain become accustomed to hearing and comprehending again.
Here are a few ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- 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 rewind if you can’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. It’s an excellent way to practice understanding words!
- Listening comprehension: Hearing speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing entirely. When you follow 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 stay rooted in your mind. In your everyday life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
- Improvements of focus: With a little help from your audiobook, you’ll remain focused and engaged for longer periods of time. Perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve been able to participate in a full conversation, particularly if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids. You may need some practice tuning in and staying focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to broaden their vocabulary. The more words you’re exposed to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Perhaps that guy standing 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: You’ll often need practice with more than only the hearing part. Hearing loss can often bring on social solitude which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can make communication a great deal easier by helping you get a handle on pronunciation.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical copy of your audiobook is highly recommended. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic connections more robust. In essence, it’s a great way to reinforce your auditory training. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also good because they’re pretty easy to come by right now. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. You can instantly get them from Amazon or other online sellers. And you can listen to them anywhere on your phone.
And you can also get podcasts on nearly every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. You can improve your hearing and enrich your mind simultaneously!
Can I listen to audiobooks through my hearing aids
A wide variety of modern hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. Meaning, you can connect your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can use your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and greater convenience.
Consult us about audiobooks
So come in and speak with us if you’re worried about having trouble getting used to your hearing aids or if you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss.