In the past they were known as “books-on-tape”. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. Nowadays, people call them 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 out loud to you (okay, it’s just that). You can engage with new ideas, get swept up in a story, or learn something new. Audiobooks are a wonderful way to pass the time and enrich your mind.
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 laborious like homework.
Auditory training is a special type of listening, designed to help you improve your ability to process, comprehend, and decipher sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). We frequently discuss auditory training from the context of getting accustomed to a pair of hearing aids.
That’s because when you have untreated hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become accustomed to living in a less noisy environment.) So when you get a new set of hearing aids, your brain suddenly has to deal with an influx of extra information. Practically, this often 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. Also, for those who are coping with auditory processing conditions or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Another perspective: Audio books won’t really make you hear clearer, but they will help you better understand what you’re hearing.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Helping your brain distinguish sound again is precisely what auditory training is created to do. If you think about it, humans have a really complicated relationship with noise. Every sound you hear has some meaning. It’s a lot for your brain to manage. So if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain become accustomed to hearing and understanding again.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in a few different ways, including the following:
- 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 distinguishing speech. 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 everyday life.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to increase their vocabulary? The more words you’re exposed to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Impress your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your dinner at that restaurant is sumptuous. 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 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. This works really well for practicing following words.
- Improvements of focus: With a little help from your audiobook, you’ll stay focused and involved for longer periods of time. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been able to engage in a complete conversation, particularly if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids. You may require some practice tuning in and staying focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll frequently need practice with more than just the hearing part. Hearing loss can often bring on 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 advisable. This will help make those linguistic associations stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt faster to the new auditory inputs. In other words, it’s a great way to strengthen your auditory training. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also good because they are pretty easy to come by these days. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. Many online vendors sell them, and that includes Amazon. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And you can also get podcasts on just about every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. You can sharpen your hearing and improve your mind at the same time!
Can I listen to audiobooks through my hearing aids
Lots of contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. So all of your Bluetooth-enabled devices, including your phone, your television, and your speakers, can be paired with your hearing aids. This means you don’t have to place cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. Rather, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and greater convenience.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So if you think your hearing may be starting to go, or you’re uneasy about getting used to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.