In the past they were called “books-on-tape”. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. Nowadays, people call them 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 a lot like having someone read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You can connect with new concepts, get swept away in a story, or learn something new. Audiobooks are an excellent way to pass the time and enhance your mind.
And they’re also an ideal tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re probably pretty interested about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds complex 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”). One of the main 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 grow out of practice. So your brain will have to deal with a substantial influx of new auditory information 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. Auditory training can be a useful tool to help handle this. (As a side note, auditory training is also useful for people who have language learning challenges or auditory processing conditions).
Think of it like this: It’s not so much that audiobooks can improve your hearing, it’s that they can help you better distinguish what you hear.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Auditory training was designed to help your brain get accustomed to making sense out of sounds again. People have a rather complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound signifies something. It’s a lot for your brain to process. 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 set of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in a number of different ways, including the following:
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to comprehend it! Audiobooks give you practice digesting and understanding what is being talked about. Your brain needs practice joining words to concepts, and helping those concepts stay rooted in your mind. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your day-to-day life.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your attention longer, with a little help from your audiobook pals. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been able to engage in a full conversation, especially if you’re getting used to a new set of hearing aids. An audiobook can give you some practice in remaining focused and tuned in.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than just the hearing part. Those who suffer with hearing loss often also deal with social isolation, and that can leave their communication skills a little out of practice. Audiobooks can help you get a grip on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication a lot smoother!
- 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 stunning new words impress all of your friends. Maybe those potatoes look dubious, or you’re worried that bringing your friends along to the bar will really exacerbate your issues with your boyfriend. Either way, audiobooks can help you find the right word for the right situation.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get used to hearing and comprehending speech again. But you also have a little bit more control than you would during a regular old conversation. You can rewind if you don’t understand something and listen to something as many times as you want to. It’s the perfect way to practice understanding words!
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is highly advisable. This will help make those linguistic connections stronger in your brain, and your brain could adapt faster to the new auditory inputs. In essence, it’s a great way to bolster your auditory training. Because hearing aids are enhanced 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, including Amazon. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on just about 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 with my hearing aids
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that comes with many modern hearing aids. Meaning, you can connect your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your television, 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 through your hearing aids.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and greater convenience.
Consult us about audiobooks
So if you believe your hearing might be on the way out, or you’re worried about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.