Back in the old days they were called “books-on-tape”. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. These days, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
With an audiobook, you can listen to the book as it’s being read by a narrator. It’s sort of like when you were a kid and a teacher or parent read to you. You can engage with new concepts, get swept away in a story, or learn something new. Audiobooks are an excellent way to pass time and enhance your mind.
As it turns out, they’re also a great way to accomplish some auditory training.
What’s auditory training?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you ask? It sounds complex and an awful lot like school.
As a specialized 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 principal uses of auditory training is to help individuals learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
That’s because when you have neglected 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 cope with an increase of extra information. Practically, this often means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it generally does (at least, not at first). As a result, auditory training frequently becomes a helpful exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also helpful for those with language learning challenges or auditory processing conditions).
Another perspective: Audio books won’t really make you hear clearer, but they will help you better distinguish what you’re hearing.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Auditory training was created to help your brain get accustomed to distinguishing sounds again. If you think about it, humans have a very complicated relationship with noise. Every single sound means 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 get used to hearing and comprehending again.
Here are a number of ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice comprehending someone else’s speech. During typical conversations, however, you will have far less control than you will with an audiobook. You can rewind if you don’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. It’s a great way to practice understanding words!
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Surprise 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 ready for any situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than just the hearing part. Hearing loss can often bring about social solitude which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can help you get a handle on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication much easier!
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your attention longer, with some help from your audiobook friends. Perhaps it’s been some time since you’ve been able to take part in a complete conversation, especially if you’re getting used to a new set of hearing aids. You may need some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to comprehend it! Audiobooks help you practice digesting and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain requires practice helping concepts take root in your mind by practicing linking those concepts to words. In your daily life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
WE suggest that, as you enjoy your audiobook, you also read along with a physical copy of the book too. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic links stronger. In essence, it’s the perfect way to bolster your auditory training. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also good because they are pretty easy to come by right now. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. You can easily purchase them from Amazon or other online vendors. And you can listen to them anywhere on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on pretty much every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. You can sharpen your hearing and enrich your mind at the same time!
Can I listen to audiobooks through my hearing aids
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that comes with many contemporary hearing aids. So all of your Bluetooth-enabled devices, including your phone, your tv, and your speakers, can be connected with your hearing aids. With this, when you listen to an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can use your hearing aids for this instead.
This results in an easier process and a higher quality sound.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So if you think your hearing might be on the way out, or you’re worried about getting used to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.