Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, once upon a time. Naturally, that was long before CDs, not to mention digital streaming. Nowadays, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, is a much better name).
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s kind of like when you were a kid and a teacher or parent read to you. You can engage with new concepts, get swept away in a story, or learn something new. Audiobooks are a wonderful way to pass time and enrich your mind.
And they’re also a great tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re most likely rather curious about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds complicated and an awful lot like school.
Auditory training is a special form of listening, designed to help you improve your ability to process, comprehend, and decipher sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We frequently talk about auditory training from the perspective of getting accustomed to a set of hearing aids.
Because untreated hearing loss can cause your hearing to get used to a quieter environment and your brain can get out of practice. So when you get a new pair of hearing aids, your brain abruptly has to deal with an influx of additional information. In practice, this often means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it generally does (at least, not initially). Auditory training can be a practical tool to help deal with this. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for individuals who have language learning difficulties or auditory processing conditions).
Another perspective: It’s not really 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?
Auditory training was created to help your brain get used to making sense out of sounds again. People have a rather complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound you hear has some significance. It’s a lot for your brain to absorb. The idea is that audiobooks are an excellent way to help your brain get accustomed to that process again, particularly if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids.
Here are a few ways audiobooks can help with auditory training:
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to understand it! When you follow the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice distinguishing speech. Your brain needs practice helping concepts take root in your mind by practicing linking those ideas to words. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your daily life.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with a little help from your audiobook friends. After all, if you’re getting used to a new set of hearing aids, it might have been a while since you last engaged in and listened to a full conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice understanding somebody else’s speech. During typical conversations, however, you will have a lot less control than you will with an audiobook. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to understand them. It’s an excellent way to practice understanding words!
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to broaden their vocabulary. The more words you’re subjected to, the larger 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. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words queued up for any situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it isn’t just the hearing part that can need some practice. Hearing loss can often bring on social isolation which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can make communication a lot easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical copy of your audiobook is definitely recommended. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic connections stronger. It’s definitely a beneficial way to enhance your auditory training adventure. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also great because they’re pretty easy to come by 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. Anywhere 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 want to listen to. Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced together.
Can I listen to audiobooks through my hearing aids
Bluetooth capability is a feature that is included with many modern hearing aids. This means you can connect your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. This means you don’t have to place cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. You can use your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and increased convenience.
Consult us about audiobooks
So come in and talk to us if you’re worried about having difficulty getting used to your hearing aids or if you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss.