In the past they were known as “books-on-tape”. Of course, that was long before CDs, not to mention digital streaming. These days, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
An audiobook gives you the ability to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s a lot like having someone read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You can engage with new concepts, get swept up in a story, or discover something new. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.
And they’re also an ideal tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re probably rather interested about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds laborious like homework.
Auditory training is a specialized type of listening, designed to help you improve your ability to process, perceive, and interpret sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). One of the principal uses of auditory training is to help people learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
Because untreated hearing loss can cause your hearing to get used to a quieter environment and your brain can grow out of practice. So your brain will need to cope with a substantial influx of new auditory information when you get new hearing aids. In practice, this usually means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it generally does (at least, not initially). As a result, auditory training frequently becomes a helpful exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also useful for individuals who have language learning challenges or auditory processing conditions).
Another perspective: Audio books won’t necessarily make you hear clearer, but they will help you better understand what you’re hearing.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain distinguish sound again is exactly what auditory training is created to do. If you think about it, people have a really complicated relationship with noise. Every sound means something. Your brain has to do a lot of work. The concept is that audiobooks are an excellent way to help your brain get used to that process again, particularly if you’re breaking in a brand-new set of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in a number of different ways, including the following:
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to increase their vocabulary? Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Impress your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Perhaps those potatoes look dubious, or you’re worried that bringing your friends to the bar will really exacerbate your issues with your boyfriend. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words queued up for any situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than only the hearing part. Those that have hearing loss frequently also deal with social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a bit out of practice. Audiobooks can help you get a handle on the pronunciation of words, making general communication a lot smoother!
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your attention longer, with some help from your audiobook pals. Perhaps it’s been some time since you’ve been able to participate in a complete conversation, especially if you’re getting used to a new set of hearing aids. You might need some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get accustomed to hearing and understanding speech again. During normal conversations, however, you will have far less control than you will with an audiobook. You can rewind if you don’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. This works quite well for practicing making out words.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to understand it! Audiobooks give you practice processing and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice helping ideas take root in your mind by practicing connecting those concepts to words. In your daily life, this will help you distinguish what people are saying to you.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
WE recommend that, as you enjoy your audiobook, you read along with a physical copy of the book too. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic links more robust. It’s definitely a beneficial way to enhance your auditory training experience. That’s because audiobooks complement hearing aids.
It’s also really easy to get thousands of audiobooks. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. You can easily get them from Amazon or other online vendors. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
Also, if you can’t find an audiobook you really like, you could always listen to a podcast to get the same effect (and there are podcasts on practically every topic). You can sharpen your hearing and enrich your mind at the same time!
Can I listen to audiobooks with my hearing aids
Many contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. 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 need to put huge headphones over your hearing aids just to play an audiobook. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.
This leads to a simpler process and a higher quality sound.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So come in and talk to us if you’re concerned about having trouble getting used to your hearing aids or if you think you may be experiencing hearing loss.