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Back in the old days they were known as “books-on-tape”. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. These days, people call them audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, is a much better name).

An audiobook allows you 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 just that). You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an enchanting story, and experience ideas you never knew about. Audiobooks are an excellent way to pass time and enhance your mind.

Turns out, they’re also a fantastic way to accomplish some auditory training.

Auditory training – what is it?

Wait, wait, wait, what’s this auditory training thing, you may ask? It sounds tedious like homework.

As a specialized form of listening, auditory training is created to give you a better ability to perceive, process, and distinguish sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). We frequently discuss auditory training from the perspective of getting accustomed to a pair of hearing aids.

That’s because when you have unaddressed hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become accustomed to being in a less noisy environment.) So your brain will need to cope with a huge increase of new auditory information when you get new hearing aids. When this occurs, your brain will find it hard, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. As a result, auditory training often becomes a useful exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for individuals who have language learning challenges or auditory processing disorders).

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.

What happens when I listen to audiobooks?

Auditory training was created to help your brain get used to making sense out of sounds again. Humans have a fairly complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. 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 accustomed to that process again, especially if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids.

Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in a few different ways, including the following:

  • Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it isn’t just 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 make communication a lot easier by helping you get a handle on pronunciation.
  • Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, understanding it is another thing completely. When you follow the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice distinguishing speech. Your brain needs practice connecting 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 of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with some help from your audiobook friends. After all, if you’re getting accustomed to a new set 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.
  • Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice understanding somebody else’s speech. During normal conversations, however, you will have a lot less control than you will with an audiobook. You can listen to sentences as many times as you need to in order to understand them. It’s a great way to practice understanding words!
  • A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe 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 find the right word for the right situation.

Audiobooks as auditory aids

WE suggest that, as you enjoy your audiobook, you read along with a physical copy of the book too. This will help make those linguistic connections stronger in your brain, and your brain could adapt faster to the new auditory signals. In other words, it’s the perfect way to strengthen 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, and that includes Amazon. And you can hear them anywhere on your phone.

Also, if you can’t find an audiobook you particularly like, you could always try listening to a podcast to get the same experience (and there are podcasts on practically every topic). Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced simultaneously.

Can I use my hearing aids to play audiobooks?

Many modern hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. This means you can connect your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. With this, when you listen to an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can use your hearing aids for this instead.

You’ll now get superior sound quality and increased convenience.

Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training

So if you think your hearing might be on the way out, or you’re concerned 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 personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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