Audiology Associates of North Florida - Tallahassee, FL

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In the past they were known as “books-on-tape”. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. Today, they have a much better name; audiobooks.

With an audiobook, you can listen to the book as it’s being read by a narrator. It’s kind of like when you were a kid and a teacher or parent read to you. You’ll be able to discover new things, get lost in an enchanting tale, and explore ideas you were never aware of. Audiobooks are a wonderful way to pass time and enrich your mind.

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

Auditory training – what is it?

Wait, wait, wait, what’s this auditory training thing, you ask? It sounds complicated and a lot like school.

Auditory training is a specialized type of listening, created to help you increase your ability to process, comprehend, and interpret sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We frequently talk about auditory training from the context of getting accustomed to a set of hearing aids.

Because neglected 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 have to cope with a huge 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 at first). As a result, auditory training frequently becomes a worthwhile exercise. Also, for those who are dealing with auditory processing conditions or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a useful tool.

Another perspective: It’s not so much 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?

Helping your brain distinguish sound again is precisely what auditory training is designed to do. People have a pretty complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound you hear has some meaning. It’s a lot for your brain to absorb. The concept is that audiobooks are an excellent way to help your brain get accustomed to that process again, especially if you’re breaking in a brand-new set of hearing aids.

Here are a few ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:

  • Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get accustomed to hearing and comprehending speech again. During normal conversations, however, you will have much less control than you will with an audiobook. You can rewind if you don’t understand something and listen to something as many times as you want to. It’s the perfect way to practice understanding words!
  • Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it’s not just the hearing part that can need a little practice. Those with hearing loss often also suffer from social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a bit out of practice. Audiobooks can make communication a lot easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
  • A bigger vocabulary: Most people would love to expand their vocabulary. The more words you’re subjected to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Let your impressive new words impress all of your friends. 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. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words queued up for any situation.
  • Listening comprehension: Hearing speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing completely. When you follow along with the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice differentiating speech. Your brain requires practice helping concepts take root in your mind by practicing connecting those concepts to words. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your day-to-day life.
  • 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 used to a new pair of hearing aids, it might have been a while since you last took part in and listened to a complete conversation. You might need some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.

Audiobooks as auditory aids

WE recommend that, as you listen to your audiobook, you read along with a physical copy of the book as well. This will help make those linguistic connections stronger in your brain, and your brain could adapt more quickly to the new auditory inputs. It’s definitely a good way to enhance your auditory training experience. 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. You can instantly get them from Amazon or other online vendors. And you can listen to them anywhere on your phone.

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

Can I listen to audiobooks with my hearing aids

Bluetooth functionality is a feature that is included with many contemporary hearing aids. So all of your Bluetooth-enabled devices, including your phone, your television, and your speakers, can be connected with your hearing aids. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can utilize 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 come in and speak with us if you’re concerned about having trouble getting used to your hearing aids or if you believe you might be experiencing hearing loss.

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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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