In the past they were called “books-on-tape”. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. These days, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, 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 out loud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an engaging tale, and explore ideas you never knew about. Audiobooks are a wonderful way to pass time and enrich your mind.
As it turns out, they’re also a great way to achieve some auditory training.
Auditory training – what is it?
Wait, wait, wait, what’s this auditory training thing, you ask? It sounds complex and a lot like school.
As a specialized form of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and comprehend sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We frequently talk about auditory training from the perspective of getting accustomed to a pair of hearing aids.
Because neglected 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 deal with a substantial increase of new auditory information when you get new hearing aids. When this happens, 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 deal with this. Also, for those who are dealing with auditory processing disorders or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a helpful tool.
Think of it like this: It’s not so much that audiobooks can sharpen your hearing, it’s that they can help you better understand 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. Humans have a pretty complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound means something. Your brain has to do a lot of work. The idea is that audiobooks are an ideal way to help your brain get used to that process again, especially if you’re breaking in a brand-new pair of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in various different ways, including the following:
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than only the hearing part. Hearing loss can often bring on social isolation which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can help you get a handle on the pronunciation of words, making general communication a lot easier!
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice comprehending someone else’s speech. During typical conversations, however, you will have far less control than you get with an audiobook. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to understand them. It’s the perfect way to practice understanding words!
- Listening comprehension: Hearing speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing entirely. When you follow the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice distinguishing speech. 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 everyday life.
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll stay focused and involved for longer periods of time. Perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve been able to take part in a full conversation, particularly 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.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to expand their vocabulary. The more words you’re exposed to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe those potatoes look dubious, or you’re concerned that bringing your friends to the bar will really exacerbate your problems with your boyfriend. Either way, audiobooks can help you find the right word for the right situation.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is definitely 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 the perfect way to strengthen your auditory training. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also great because they are pretty easy to get right now. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. A wide variety of online vendors sell them, including Amazon. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
Plus, 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 just about every topic). Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced at the same time.
Can I use my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
Lots of modern hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. This means you can connect your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. With this, when you play 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 better sound quality and increased convenience.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So if you believe your hearing might be starting to go, or you’re concerned about getting used to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.