Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, way back when. Of course, that was well before CDs, much less digital streaming. These days, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
With an audiobook, you will listen to the book being read by a narrator. It’s a bit like when you were younger and a parent or teacher read to you. You can engage with new concepts, get swept away in a story, or learn something new. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
Turns out, they’re also a fantastic way to accomplish some auditory training.
What’s auditory training?
So you’re probably pretty interested about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds laborious like homework.
As a skilled kind 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 primary uses of auditory training is to help people 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 get out of practice. So when you get a new set of hearing aids, your brain suddenly has to cope with an increase of additional information. When this takes place, your brain will find it hard, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. Consequently, auditory training often becomes a worthwhile exercise. Also, for people who are coping with auditory processing conditions or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Think of it like this: It’s not really that audiobooks can improve your hearing, it’s that they can help you better distinguish what you hear.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Auditory training was designed to help your brain get used to making sense out of sounds again. If you think about it, humans have a very complicated relationship with noise. Every single sound you hear has some meaning. 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, particularly if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids.
Here are a number of ways audiobooks can help with auditory training:
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it isn’t just the hearing part that can need some practice. Individuals who suffer with hearing loss frequently also deal with social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a bit rusty. Audiobooks can make communication much easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with a little help from your audiobook pals. After all, if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids, it may have been a while since you last engaged in and listened to an entire conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
- 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 impressive new words impress all of your friends. Maybe that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your dinner at that restaurant is sumptuous. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words ready for any situation.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get used to hearing and comprehending speech again. During typical conversations, however, you will have far less control than you get with an audiobook. You can rewind if you can’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. It’s a great way to practice understanding words!
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to comprehend it! Audiobooks give you practice digesting and understanding what is being talked about. Your brain needs practice helping ideas take root in your mind by practicing connecting those concepts to words. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your everyday life.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is highly advisable. This will help make those linguistic connections stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt more quickly to the new auditory signals. In essence, it’s the perfect way to strengthen your auditory training. 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.
Also, if you can’t find an audiobook you particularly like, you could always try listening to a podcast to get the same effect (and there are podcasts on just about every topic). Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced together.
Can I utilize my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
Lots of contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. So all of your Bluetooth-enabled devices, including your phone, your television, and your speakers, can be paired with your hearing aids. With this, when you listen to an audiobook, you won’t have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Rather, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
This leads to a simpler process and a better quality sound.
Consult us about audiobooks
So if you believe your hearing might be starting to go, or you’re worried about getting used to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.