Back in the old days they were known as “books-on-tape”. Naturally, that was well before CDs, much less digital streaming. These days, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a much better name).
With an audiobook, you can listen to the book being read by a narrator. It’s kind of like when you were younger and a parent or teacher read to you. You’ll be able to discover new things, get lost in an enchanting story, and explore ideas you were never aware of. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re probably pretty interested about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds complex and a lot like school.
Auditory training is a specialized type of listening, developed to help you enhance your ability to process, perceive, and interpret sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). We frequently talk about auditory training from the context of getting accustomed to a pair of hearing aids.
Because untreated hearing loss can cause your hearing to get used to a quieter environment and your brain can grow out of practice. So when you get a new pair of hearing aids, your brain suddenly has to deal with an increase of additional information. When this happens, your brain will find it difficult, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. Auditory training can be a practical tool to help handle this. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for people with language learning challenges or auditory processing disorders).
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?
Helping your brain distinguish sound again is precisely what auditory training is designed to do. If you think about it, people have a really complicated relationship with noise. Every sound means something. It’s a lot for your brain to absorb. So if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain become accustomed to hearing and understanding again.
Here are a number of ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- Improvements of focus: With some 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 take part in a full conversation, particularly if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids. An audiobook can give you some practice in remaining focused and tuned in.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice comprehending somebody else’s speech. But you also have a little more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can listen to sentences as many times as you need to in order to understand them. This works quite well for practicing making out words.
- Listening comprehension: Hearing speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing completely. Audiobooks help you practice digesting and understanding what is being talked about. Your brain needs practice linking 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: Most individuals would love to expand their vocabulary. The more words you’re exposed to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Impress your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Perhaps that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your food at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you find the right word for the right situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it isn’t just the hearing part that can need a little practice. Individuals with hearing loss frequently also deal with social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a bit out of practice. Audiobooks can make communication a great deal easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is definitely recommended. This will help make those linguistic associations stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt faster to the new auditory signals. In other words, it’s the perfect way to bolster your auditory training. That’s because audiobooks enhance hearing aids.
Audiobooks are also great because they’re pretty easy to get right now. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. You can easily get them from Amazon or other online sellers. Anywhere you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And you can also get 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 simultaneously!
Can I utilize my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
A wide variety of contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. So all of your Bluetooth-enabled devices, including your phone, your television, and your speakers, can be connected with your hearing aids. This means you don’t need to put cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to play an audiobook. You can use your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and greater convenience.
Consult us about audiobooks
So if you think your hearing may be starting to go, or you’re concerned about getting used to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.