We used to call them books-on-tape, once upon a time. 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).
An audiobook gives you the ability to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s kind of like having somebody read a book aloud to you (okay, it’s just that). You’ll be able to discover new things, get lost in an enchanting tale, and experience ideas you never knew about. Audiobooks are an excellent way to pass 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 curious about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds complex and a lot like school.
Auditory training is a specialized type of listening, developed to help you improve your ability to process, comprehend, and interpret sounds (known medically 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 get out of practice. So your brain will need to deal with a significant increase of new auditory information when you get new hearing aids. When this occurs, your brain will find it hard, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. As a result, auditory training often becomes a worthwhile exercise. Also, for individuals who are coping with auditory processing conditions or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Another perspective: 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 created to help your brain get used to distinguishing sounds again. People have a pretty complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound you hear has some meaning. Your brain needs to do a lot of work. The concept is that audiobooks are an ideal way to help your brain get used to that process again, especially if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids.
Here are a few ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice understanding someone else’s speech. During normal conversations, however, you will have a lot less control than you get with an audiobook. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to distinguish them. It’s the perfect way to practice understanding words!
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to increase their vocabulary? The more words you’re subjected to, the larger your vocabulary will become. Let your impressive new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps those french fries look dubious, or you’re concerned that bringing your friends along to the bar will really exacerbate your issues with your boyfriend. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
- Improvements of focus: With a little help from your audiobook, you’ll remain focused and engaged for longer periods of time. 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 a complete conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to understand it! Audiobooks help you practice processing and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice joining words to concepts, and helping those concepts stay rooted in your mind. In your day-to-day life, this will help you distinguish what people are saying to you.
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it isn’t just the hearing part that can need some practice. Hearing loss can often bring about social solitude which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can make communication much easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical copy of your audiobook is highly recommended. This will help make those linguistic connections stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt faster to the new auditory inputs. It’s definitely a beneficial way to enhance your auditory training adventure. That’s because audiobooks complement hearing aids.
It’s also very 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. Anywhere you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
Plus, if you can’t find an audiobook you particularly like, you could always try listening to a podcast to get the same effect (and there are podcasts on pretty much every topic). You can sharpen your hearing and enrich your mind simultaneously!
Can I utilize my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
Lots of modern hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. This means you can pair 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. Instead, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
You’ll now get better sound quality and greater convenience.
Consult us about audiobooks
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.