Back in the old days they were called “books-on-tape”. Naturally, that was well before CDs, not to mention digital streaming. Nowadays, people call them audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, is a far better name).
With an audiobook, you can listen to the book as it’s being read by a narrator. It’s sort of like having somebody read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s exactly that). You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an engaging tale, and explore ideas you were never aware of. Audiobooks are a wonderful way to pass the time and enrich your mind.
As it turns out, they’re also a wonderful way to accomplish some auditory training.
What’s auditory training?
So you’re most likely pretty interested about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds tedious like homework.
Auditory training is a special type of listening, developed to help you improve your ability to process, perceive, and interpret sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). One of the primary uses of auditory training is to help individuals learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
That’s because when you have untreated hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become accustomed to living in a less noisy environment.) So when you get a new set of hearing aids, your brain abruptly has to cope with an increase of extra information. When this takes place, your brain will find it difficult, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. Consequently, auditory training often becomes a worthwhile exercise. Also, for individuals who are coping with auditory processing disorders or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a helpful 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.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain make sense of sound again is exactly what auditory training is created to do. If you think about it, people have a very complicated relationship with noise. Every single sound you hear has some meaning. 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 become accustomed to hearing and understanding again.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in various different ways, including the following:
- Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, understanding it is another thing entirely. Audiobooks give you practice digesting and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice joining words to concepts, and helping those concepts stay rooted in your mind. In your daily life, this will help you distinguish what people are saying to you.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll frequently need practice with more than just the hearing part. Individuals who suffer with hearing loss often also suffer from social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a bit out of practice. 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. But you also have a bit more control than you would during a normal conversation. 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.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to broaden their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get stronger as you’re exposed to more words. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe those potatoes look dubious, or you’re concerned that bringing your friends to the bar will really exacerbate your problems with your boyfriend. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words queued up for any situation.
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll stay focused and involved for longer periods of time. After all, if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids, it may have been a while since you last took part in and listened to a full conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in remaining focused and tuned in.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
WE suggest that, as you listen to your audiobook, you read along with a physical copy of the book too. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio signals making those linguistic links stronger. In other words, it’s the perfect way to strengthen your auditory training. That’s because audiobooks complement hearing aids.
Audiobooks are also good because they are pretty easy to get these days. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. A wide variety of online vendors sell them, including Amazon. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And you can also get podcasts on pretty much every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced together.
Can I listen to audiobooks through my hearing aids
Many modern hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. This means you can pair your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your tv, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. This means you don’t have to place cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and greater convenience.
Consult us about audiobooks
So if you believe your hearing may be on the way out, or you’re uneasy about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.