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In the past they were known as “books-on-tape”. Naturally, that was long before CDs, much less digital streaming. These days, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a far better name).

With an audiobook, you will listen to the book being read by a narrator. It’s a lot like having someone read a book aloud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You can connect with new ideas, get swept up in a story, or discover something new. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.

As it turns out, they’re also a wonderful way to achieve some auditory training.

What’s auditory training?

So you’re probably pretty curious about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds complicated and a lot like school.

As a skilled kind of listening, auditory training is designed to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and distinguish sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). One of the main uses of auditory training is to help people learn to hear with their new hearing aids.

Because untreated hearing loss can cause your hearing to get used to a quieter environment and your brain can get out of practice. So your brain will need to cope with a substantial influx of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. In practice, this usually means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it generally does (at least, not initially). As a result, auditory training frequently becomes a worthwhile exercise. Also, for individuals who are coping with auditory processing disorders or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful tool.

Think of it like this: It’s not so much that audiobooks can sharpen your hearing, it’s that they can help you better distinguish what you hear.

What happens when I listen to audiobooks?

Auditory training was designed to help your brain get accustomed to distinguishing sounds again. If you think about it, people have a very complex relationship with noise. Every single 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 brand-new pair 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 only the hearing part that can need a little 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: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? The more words you’re exposed to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Impress your friends by using amazingly apt words. Perhaps those french fries look dubious, or you’re worried that bringing your friends along to the bar will really exacerbate your problems with your boyfriend. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
  • Improvements of focus: With a little help from your audiobook, you’ll stay focused and engaged for longer periods of time. After all, if you’re getting accustomed to a new pair of hearing aids, it might have been a while since you last engaged in and listened to a full conversation. 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 understanding speech again. During normal conversations, however, you will have a lot less control than you will with an audiobook. You can rewind if you don’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. It’s the perfect way to practice understanding words!
  • Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing entirely. When you follow along with the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice distinguishing speech. Your brain needs practice joining words to concepts, and helping those concepts remain rooted in your mind. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your everyday life.

Audiobooks as auditory aids

WE recommend that, as you listen to your audiobook, you read along with a physical copy of the book also. This will help make those linguistic connections stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt faster to the new auditory inputs. In essence, it’s a great way to strengthen your auditory training. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.

It’s also really easy to get thousands of audiobooks. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. You can easily get them from Amazon or other online vendors. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up 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 just about every topic). Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced together.

Can I utilize my hearing aids to play audiobooks?

Lots 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 need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.

This results in a simpler process and a better quality sound.

Talk to us about audiobooks

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

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