Back in the old days they were known as “books-on-tape”. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs let alone 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 kind of like when you were a kid and a teacher or parent read to you. You’ll be able to discover new things, get lost in an enchanting story, and experience ideas you never knew about. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
Turns out, they’re also a wonderful way to achieve some auditory training.
What’s auditory training?
So you’re probably rather interested about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds complicated and a lot like school.
As a specialized kind of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and distinguish sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We often talk about auditory training from the context of getting accustomed to a pair of hearing aids.
That’s because when you have neglected hearing loss, your brain can slowly grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become accustomed to being in a quieter environment.) So your brain will need to cope with a big influx of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. Practically, this usually means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it normally does (at least, not initially). Auditory training can be a useful tool to help deal with this. (As a side note, auditory training is also useful for people with language learning challenges or auditory processing conditions).
Another perspective: Audio books won’t necessarily make you hear clearer, but they will help you better distinguish 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. People have a fairly complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound you hear has some significance. It’s a lot for your brain to manage. 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 a number of different ways, including the following:
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice understanding someone else’s speech. But you also have a little bit more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can listen to sentences as many times as you need to in order to distinguish them. This works really well for practicing following words.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to comprehend it! When you follow along with the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice differentiating speech. Your brain needs practice helping ideas take root in your mind by practicing joining those ideas to words. In your daily life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it isn’t just the hearing part that can need a little practice. Individuals that have hearing loss frequently also deal with social isolation, and that can leave their communication skills a little rusty. Audiobooks can make communication much easier by helping you get a handle on pronunciation.
- 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 pair of hearing aids, it may have been a while since you last took part in and listened to an entire conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most people would love to increase their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Surprise your friends by using amazingly apt words. Perhaps that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your dinner at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
WE recommend 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 connections stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt more quickly to the new auditory signals. In other words, it’s the perfect way to reinforce your auditory training. That’s because audiobooks complement hearing aids.
Audiobooks are also good because they’re pretty easy to get these days. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. You can instantly get them from Amazon or other online sellers. And you can hear them anywhere on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on nearly every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you want to listen to. You can sharpen your hearing and enrich your mind simultaneously!
Can I listen to audiobooks through my hearing aids
Bluetooth capability is a feature that is included with many contemporary hearing aids. So all of your Bluetooth-equipped devices, including your phone, your tv, and your speakers, can be connected with your hearing aids. This means you don’t need to put huge headphones over your hearing aids just to play an audiobook. Instead, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and increased convenience.
Consult us about audiobooks
So come in and speak with us if you’re worried about having trouble getting used to your hearing aids or if you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss.