Back in the old days they were called “books-on-tape”. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. Nowadays, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a far better name).
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s sort of like when you were younger and a teacher or parent read to you. 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 time and enhance your mind.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re most likely pretty interested about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds complex and a lot like school.
As a specialized kind of listening, auditory training is created to give you a better ability to perceive, process, and understand sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). We often talk about auditory training from the context of getting accustomed to a set of hearing aids.
That’s because when you have untreated hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become used to being in a less noisy environment.) So when you get a new pair of hearing aids, your brain abruptly has to cope with an influx of extra information. When this happens, 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 individuals who are coping with auditory processing conditions or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a helpful tool.
Think of it like this: It’s not really that audiobooks can sharpen your hearing, it’s that they can help you better distinguish what you hear.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Auditory training was designed to help your brain get used to making sense out of sounds again. Humans 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. So if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain become accustomed to hearing and understanding again.
Here are a number of ways audiobooks can assist 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 differentiating speech. Your brain needs practice linking words to concepts, and helping those concepts stay rooted in your mind. In your day-to-day life, this will help you distinguish what people are saying to you.
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it’s not only 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 help you get a handle on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication much easier!
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to increase their vocabulary. The more words you’re subjected to, the larger your vocabulary will become. Let your stunning new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps that guy standing outside the bar looks innocuous, or your dinner at that restaurant is sumptuous. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words ready for any situation.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice understanding someone else’s speech. But you also have a little bit more control than you would during a regular old conversation. You can listen to sentences as many times as you need to in order to understand them. This works quite well for practicing making out words.
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll remain focused and engaged for longer periods of time. After all, if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids, it may have been a while since you last took part in and listened to an entire conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is absolutely recommended. This will help make those linguistic associations stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt more quickly to the new auditory inputs. It’s definitely a beneficial way to enhance your auditory training adventure. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also nice because they’re pretty easy to come by these days. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. You can easily get them from Amazon or other online vendors. And you can hear them at any time on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on pretty much every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced at the same time.
Can I use my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
Lots of modern hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. This means you can pair your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. With this, when you listen to an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Rather, you can listen directly through your hearing aids.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and greater convenience.
Talk to us about audiobooks
So if you believe your hearing may be starting to go, or you’re uneasy about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.
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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive a personalized free hearing test and hearing loss consultation, call today to set up an appointment.