Back in the old days they were called “books-on-tape”. Of course, that was well before CDs, not to mention digital streaming. Today, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
An audiobook gives you the ability to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s sort 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 experience ideas you were never aware of. Audiobooks are an excellent way to pass the time and enhance your mind.
Turns out, they’re also a fantastic way to achieve some auditory training.
Auditory training – what is it?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you may ask? It sounds laborious like homework.
As a skilled form of listening, auditory training is created to give you a better ability to perceive, process, and comprehend sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). One of the main uses of auditory training is to help individuals learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
Because neglected hearing loss can cause your hearing to become used to a quieter environment and your brain can get out of practice. So when you get a new set of hearing aids, your brain abruptly has to cope with an influx of additional information. In practice, this usually means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it generally does (at least, not at first). Auditory training can be a practical tool to help deal with this. (As a side note, auditory training is also useful for individuals with 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. People have a pretty complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound means something. Your brain has to do a lot of work. The concept is that audiobooks are a great way to help your brain get accustomed to that process again, particularly if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids.
Here are a few ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than just the hearing part. People with hearing loss frequently also deal with social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a bit rusty. Audiobooks can help you get a grip on the pronunciation of words, making general communication much easier!
- Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, understanding it is another thing entirely. Audiobooks help you practice processing and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain requires practice helping ideas take root in your mind by practicing connecting those concepts to words. In your day-to-day life, this will help you distinguish what people are saying to you.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get used to hearing and understanding speech again. During normal conversations, however, you will have a lot less control than you get with an audiobook. You can rewind if you don’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. This works really well for practicing making out words.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with a little help from your audiobook friends. Perhaps it’s been some time since you’ve been able to take part in a full conversation, especially if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids. An audiobook can give you some practice in remaining focused and tuned in.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? The more words you’re subjected to, the bigger 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 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.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
WE suggest that, as you listen to your audiobook, you also read along with a physical copy of the book as well. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic links stronger. In essence, it’s the perfect way to reinforce your auditory training. That’s because audiobooks enhance 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. Many online vendors sell them, including Amazon. And you can listen to them anywhere on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on pretty much 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 with my hearing aids
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that comes with many contemporary hearing aids. This means you can pair your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. This means you don’t need to place cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. Rather, you can listen directly through your hearing aids.
This creates an easier process and a higher quality sound.
Consult us about audiobooks
So come in and talk to us if you’re concerned about having difficulty getting used to your hearing aids or if you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss.