In the past they were known as “books-on-tape”. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs let alone streaming services. Nowadays, people call them audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, is a much better name).
An audiobook gives you the ability to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s a lot like having someone read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s just that). You can engage with new concepts, get swept away in a story, or discover something new. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
As it turns out, they’re also a wonderful way to achieve some auditory training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re most likely rather curious about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds complex and an awful lot like school.
As a skilled form of listening, auditory training is created to give you a better ability to perceive, process, and distinguish sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We often talk about auditory training from the perspective of getting used to a set of hearing aids.
Because untreated hearing loss can cause your hearing to become used to a quieter environment and your brain can grow out of practice. So your brain will need to cope with a significant influx of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. When this occurs, your brain will find it difficult, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. Consequently, auditory training frequently becomes a useful exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for people who have language learning difficulties or auditory processing disorders).
Another perspective: It’s not really 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 make sense of sound again is precisely what auditory training is designed to do. People have a fairly complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound signifies something. It’s a lot for your brain to manage. The concept is that audiobooks are a great way to help your brain get accustomed to that process again, especially if you’re breaking in a brand-new pair of hearing aids.
Here are a few ways audiobooks can help with auditory training:
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to expand their vocabulary. The more words you’re exposed to, the larger your vocabulary will become. Let your stunning new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps that guy standing outside the bar looks innocuous, or your meal at that restaurant is sumptuous. 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 engaged for longer periods of time. 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 full conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in remaining focused and tuned in.
- 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 talked about. Your brain needs 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 daily life.
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it’s not just the hearing part that can need some practice. Those with hearing loss often also deal with social isolation, and that can leave their communication skills a bit rusty. Audiobooks can make communication a great deal 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 far less control than you will with an audiobook. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to understand them. This works really well for practicing making out words.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
WE suggest that, as you listen to your audiobook, you also read along with a physical copy of the book as well. This will help make those linguistic associations stronger in your brain, and your brain could adapt faster to the new auditory signals. It’s definitely a beneficial way to enhance your auditory training adventure. 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. Many online vendors sell them, including Amazon. Anywhere you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
Also, if you can’t find an audiobook you really like, you could always try listening to a podcast to get the same effect (and there are podcasts on pretty much every topic). You can sharpen your hearing and improve your mind at the same time!
Can I listen to audiobooks through my hearing aids
Lots of modern hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. This means you can pair your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your tv, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Instead, you can listen directly through your hearing aids.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and increased convenience.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So come in and speak with us if you’re worried about having difficulty getting accustomed to your hearing aids or if you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss.