Back in the old days 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.
With an audiobook, you will listen to the book being read by a narrator. It’s kind of like when you were younger and a parent or teacher read to you. You can connect with new concepts, get swept away in a story, or discover something new. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
And they’re also an ideal tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you ask? It sounds tedious like homework.
As a skilled form of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and distinguish sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). One of the main uses of auditory training is to help people learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
That’s because when you have untreated hearing loss, your brain can slowly grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become used to living in a quieter environment.) So when you get a new set of hearing aids, your brain abruptly has to deal with an influx of extra information. When this takes place, your brain will find it difficult, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. Auditory training can be a useful tool to help deal with this. Also, for people who are dealing with auditory processing disorders or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Think of it like this: Audio books won’t really make you hear clearer, but they will help you better distinguish what you’re hearing.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Helping your brain make sense of 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 single sound you hear has some significance. Your brain needs to do a lot of work. 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.
Here are a few ways audiobooks can help with auditory training:
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to comprehend it! When you follow along with the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice differentiating speech. Your brain needs practice joining words to concepts, and helping those concepts stay rooted in your mind. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your day-to-day life.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than only the hearing part. 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.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to increase their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. 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 problems with your boyfriend. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words ready for any situation.
- 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 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.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get accustomed to hearing and comprehending speech again. But you also have a bit more control than you would during a regular old conversation. You can rewind if you don’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. This works really well for practicing following words.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
WE recommend that, as you enjoy your audiobook, you also read along with a physical copy of the book as well. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic links more robust. In essence, it’s the perfect way to strengthen your auditory training. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also good because they’re pretty easy to come by right now. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. 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 nearly every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you want to listen to. You can sharpen your hearing and enrich your mind simultaneously!
Can I utilize my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
A wide variety of modern hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. This means you can connect your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your tv, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can use your hearing aids for this instead.
This leads to an easier process and a better quality sound.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So come in and speak with us if you’re concerned about having trouble getting accustomed to your hearing aids or if you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss.