We used to call them books-on-tape, once upon a time. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs let alone streaming services. Nowadays, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a much better name).
With an audiobook, you will listen to the book as it’s being read by a narrator. It’s a lot like having someone read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s just that). You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an engaging tale, and experience ideas you never knew about. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.
As it turns out, they’re also a great way to accomplish some auditory training.
What’s auditory training?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you may ask? It sounds complicated and an awful lot like school.
Auditory training is a special form of listening, created to help you increase your ability to process, perceive, and interpret sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We often discuss auditory training from the context of getting accustomed to a pair of hearing aids.
That’s because when you have unaddressed hearing loss, your brain can slowly grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become accustomed to living in a quieter environment.) So your brain will have to deal with a substantial influx of new auditory information 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 at first). Consequently, auditory training often becomes a helpful exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for individuals who have language learning challenges or auditory processing conditions).
Think of it like this: It’s not really that audiobooks can improve your hearing, it’s that they can help you better distinguish what you hear.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Helping your brain distinguish sound again is exactly what auditory training is created to do. People have a pretty complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound you hear has some significance. Your brain has to do a lot of work. The concept is that audiobooks are an ideal way to help your brain get accustomed to that process again, particularly if you’re breaking in a brand-new set of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in various different ways, including the following:
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it’s not only the hearing part that can need a little practice. Hearing loss can often bring about social isolation which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can help you get a handle on the pronunciation of words, making general communication much easier!
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice comprehending 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 numerous times in order to distinguish them. This works really well for practicing making out words.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your attention longer, with some help from your audiobook friends. After all, if you’re getting accustomed to a new set of hearing aids, it might 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 individuals would love to increase their vocabulary. The more words you’re exposed to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Let your stunning new words impress all of your friends. 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.
- Listening comprehension: Hearing speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing completely. Audiobooks help you practice digesting and understanding what is being talked about. Your brain needs practice linking 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.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is definitely recommended. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic links more robust. It’s definitely a good way to enhance your auditory training experience. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also good because they are pretty easy to get right now. 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 listen to them anywhere 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. You can sharpen your hearing and improve 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-enabled devices, including your phone, your tv, and your speakers, can be paired with your hearing aids. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Instead, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and increased convenience.
Talk to us about audiobooks
So if you think your hearing might be on the way out, or you’re concerned about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.