Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, way back when. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. Nowadays, people call them audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a much better name).
An audiobook gives you the ability 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’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an enchanting tale, and explore ideas you never knew about. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
Turns out, they’re also a great way to achieve some auditory training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re most likely rather curious about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds complicated and an awful lot like school.
Auditory training is a specialized type of listening, created to help you increase your ability to process, perceive, and interpret sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We frequently discuss auditory training from the perspective of getting used to a pair of 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 significant increase of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. Practically, 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 useful tool to help deal with this. Also, for individuals who are dealing with auditory processing disorders or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Think of it like this: It’s not really that audiobooks can sharpen your hearing, it’s that they can help you better understand what you hear.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Auditory training was created to help your brain get used to distinguishing sounds again. If you think about it, people have a really complicated relationship with noise. Every sound means something. It’s a lot for your brain to absorb. The idea is that audiobooks are a great way to help your brain get used to that process again, particularly if you’re breaking in a brand-new set of hearing aids.
Here are a number of ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- A bigger vocabulary: Most people would love to increase their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get stronger as you’re exposed to more words. Impress your friends by using amazingly apt words. Perhaps those potatoes look dubious, or you’re concerned that bringing your friends along 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.
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it’s not only the hearing part that can need a little practice. Hearing loss can often bring about social solitude which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can help you get a grip on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication much smoother!
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll remain focused and engaged for longer periods of time. Maybe it’s been some time since you’ve been able to participate in a complete conversation, particularly if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids. You might require some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing completely. When you follow the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice differentiating 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.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice understanding somebody else’s speech. But you also have a little bit more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can rewind if you don’t understand something and listen to something as many times as you want to. This works really well for practicing making out 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 also. This will help make those linguistic associations stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt faster to the new auditory signals. In essence, it’s the perfect way to bolster your auditory training. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
It’s also very easy to get thousands of audiobooks. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. You can instantly get them from Amazon or other online sellers. And you can listen to them at any time on your phone.
Plus, if you can’t find an audiobook you particularly like, you could always listen to a podcast to get the same effect (and there are podcasts on practically every topic). You can improve your hearing and enrich your mind at the same time!
Can I utilize my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
Bluetooth capability is a feature that comes with many contemporary hearing aids. Meaning, you can pair your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. This means you don’t need to put cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get better sound quality and greater convenience.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So come in and talk to us if you’re concerned about having difficulty getting accustomed to your hearing aids or if you think you might be experiencing hearing loss.