In the past they were called “books-on-tape”. Of course, that was long before CDs, much less digital streaming. These days, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a far better name).
With an audiobook, you will listen to the book being read by a narrator. It’s kind of like having somebody read a book aloud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an enchanting tale, and experience ideas you never knew about. Audiobooks are a wonderful way to pass time and enhance your mind.
And they’re also an ideal tool for audio training.
What’s auditory training?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you may ask? It sounds complex and a lot like school.
Auditory training is a special form of listening, developed to help you improve your ability to process, comprehend, and interpret sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). One of the principal 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 your brain will have to cope with a significant 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). Consequently, auditory training frequently becomes a helpful exercise. Also, for individuals who are dealing with auditory processing conditions or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a helpful tool.
Another perspective: Audio books won’t really make you hear clearer, but they will help you better understand what you’re hearing.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Auditory training was created to help your brain get used to distinguishing sounds again. If you think about it, humans have a really 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 become accustomed to hearing and comprehending again.
Here are a few ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice comprehending somebody else’s speech. During typical conversations, however, you will have a lot less control than you get with an audiobook. You can rewind if you don’t understand something and listen to something as many times as you want to. This works really well for practicing making out words.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? Your vocabulary will get stronger as you’re exposed to more words. Let your impressive new words impress all of your friends. Maybe that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your food at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it isn’t just the hearing part that can need a little practice. People that have hearing loss often also suffer from 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 grip on pronunciation.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to understand it! When you follow along with the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice differentiating speech. Your brain needs practice connecting words to concepts, and helping those concepts remain rooted in your mind. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your day-to-day life.
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll remain focused and engaged for longer periods of time. Perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve been able to participate in a complete conversation, particularly if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical copy of your audiobook is absolutely recommended. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio signals making those linguistic connections stronger. It’s definitely a good way to enhance your auditory training adventure. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
It’s also really easy to get thousands of audiobooks. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. A wide variety of online vendors sell them, and that includes Amazon. And you can hear them anywhere on your phone.
Also, 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). You can sharpen your hearing and improve 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. This means you can pair your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your tv, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. With this, when you listen to an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Rather, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
This creates a simpler process and a better quality sound.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So come in and speak with us if you’re concerned about having trouble getting used to your hearing aids or if you think you might be experiencing hearing loss.