Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, once upon a time. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs let alone streaming services. These days, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s sort of like when you were younger and a teacher or parent read to you. You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an enchanting story, and explore ideas you were never aware of. Audiobooks are a wonderful way to pass time and enhance your mind.
And they’re also a terrific 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 designed to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and distinguish sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). One of the principal uses of auditory training is to help individuals 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 your brain will need to deal with a huge influx of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. 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 handle this. Also, for individuals who are coping with auditory processing disorders or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful 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?
Helping your brain distinguish sound again is exactly what auditory training is created to do. Humans have a rather complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound means something. It’s a lot for your brain to absorb. The idea 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.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in a number of different ways, including the following:
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with some help from your audiobook pals. After all, if you’re getting accustomed to a new set of hearing aids, it may have been a while since you last took part in and listened to a complete conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in remaining focused and tuned in.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to increase their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get stronger as you’re exposed to more words. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Perhaps those french fries look dubious, or you’re worried that bringing your friends along to the bar will really exacerbate your issues with your boyfriend. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words ready for any situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll frequently 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 make communication a lot easier by helping you get a handle on pronunciation.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice understanding someone else’s speech. During normal conversations, however, you will have much less control than you get with an audiobook. You can rewind if you can’t understand something and listen to something as many times as you want to. This works quite well for practicing following words.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to comprehend it! Audiobooks give you practice processing and understanding what is being talked about. Your brain requires practice helping concepts 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 copy of your audiobook is definitely advisable. This will help make those linguistic connections stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt faster to the new auditory inputs. In other words, it’s a great way to reinforce your auditory training. That’s because audiobooks complement hearing aids.
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. Anyplace 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 listen to a podcast to get the same effect (and there are podcasts on practically every topic). You can sharpen your hearing and improve your mind simultaneously!
Can I utilize my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
Bluetooth capability is a feature that comes with many modern hearing aids. Meaning, you can pair your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. This means you don’t need to place cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. Rather, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
You’ll now get better sound quality and greater convenience.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So if you believe your hearing might be on the way out, or you’re uneasy about getting used to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.