We used to call them books-on-tape, once upon a time. Of course, that was well before CDs, not to mention digital streaming. Nowadays, people call them audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a much better name).
With an audiobook, you will listen to the book as it’s being read by a narrator. It’s a lot like having someone read a book aloud to you (okay, it’s just that). You can connect with new ideas, get swept away in a story, or learn something new. Audiobooks are a great way to pass time and enrich your mind.
As it turns out, they’re also a wonderful way to accomplish some auditory training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re probably rather curious about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds complicated and a lot like school.
Auditory training is a special form of listening, designed to help you increase your ability to process, comprehend, and interpret sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). One of the primary uses of auditory training is to help people learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
Because untreated 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 pair of hearing aids, your brain abruptly has to deal with an influx of additional information. In practice, this often means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it generally does (at least, not at first). Auditory training can be a useful tool to help deal with this. Also, for those who are coping with auditory processing disorders or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Think of it like this: It’s not so much that audiobooks can improve your hearing, it’s that they can help you better understand what you hear.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Helping your brain distinguish sound again is precisely what auditory training is created to do. People have a fairly complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound you hear has some significance. Your brain has to do a lot of work. So if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain get used to hearing and comprehending again.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in various different ways, including the following:
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to increase their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your meal at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you find the right word for the right situation.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to understand it! Audiobooks help you practice digesting and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice linking words to concepts, and helping those concepts remain rooted in your mind. In your day-to-day life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with a little help from your audiobook pals. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been able to engage in a full 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.
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it’s not just the hearing part that can need a little practice. Those with hearing loss often also deal with social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a little out of practice. Audiobooks can help you get a grip on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication a lot easier!
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice comprehending somebody else’s speech. But you also have a bit more control than you would during a regular old 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.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical copy of your audiobook is absolutely advisable. This will help make those linguistic associations 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 enhanced by audiobooks.
It’s also very easy to get thousands of audiobooks. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. You can instantly get them from Amazon or other online vendors. Anywhere you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
Plus, if you can’t find an audiobook you really like, you could always listen 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 at the same time.
Can I utilize my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that comes with many modern hearing aids. This means you can connect your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. This means you don’t need to put huge headphones over your hearing aids just to play an audiobook. You can use your hearing aids for this instead.
This creates an easier process and a higher quality sound.
Consult 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 believe you may be experiencing hearing loss.