Using Audiobooks for Hearing Rehab

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Using Audiobooks for Hearing Rehab

Hearing loss can be a struggle for anyone, but especially so when it comes to undergoing hearing rehab to help adapt your ears to the use of new hearing aids. Without proper at-home management and care, it can be easy for auditory rehab to be challenging to complete. Still, with self-guided rehabilitation, there’s no pressure and no tests involved. Simply taking time for yourself each day to help your hearing and improve your mood can work wonders. Many tools can be used for hearing rehab at home, but one of the most recommended is audiobooks.

Audiobooks and hearing aids: how it works

Oral storytelling has long been a tradition for practically as long as humanity has existed. So, what better way to rehabilitate your ears than with something that’s a part of our everyday history? Audiobooks provide that sense of connection without the background noise or hearing issues that can arise from regular conversations, allowing you to focus entirely on the words being spoken. Audiobooks often have high clarity, with very little background noise, making them an ideal starting point for those trying to get used to hearing aids after more extended periods of hearing loss. Consider it training for your ears and brain, and you won’t be far off the mark.

How audiobooks can be helpful

Because of the additional clarity and easy accessibility of audiobooks, they make a fantastic place to start for those with hearing issues. Audiobooks also come in many different forms, from simplistic and easy to follow storylines through to more complex and overarching themes, all of which can help to slowly improve listening comprehension and the ability to follow a conversation over time. Audiobooks are a form of a one-sided conversation, enabling you to listen and learn how to comprehend a singular voice, before progressing on to real-life communication.

Audiobooks may be suggested as a supplementary treatment by an audiologist, or you may choose to undertake additional self-rehabilitation on your own. Whichever is the case, sourcing audiobooks that are suitable for you is the first step. With careful consideration, rehab can be as enjoyable as it is practical – particularly with stories you love and enjoy.

How audiobooks offer excellent support for rehabilitation

Audiobooks can make a difference if you can apply concentration and build yourself up to more complicated subject matter or voices. Start with a clear, recognisable, and easy-to-understand voice with little background noise. From there, you can build up to voices with different accents, or ones that are slightly harder to understand, to mimic the way you’d listen to a conversation.

If your sight is good, it’s often recommended to read along with the audiobooks – this can be used to train the brain into making a connection between what you are reading and hearing. A good mixture of subject matter, for example, fiction and non-fiction, can provide more scope if you are progressing with your rehabilitation. Starting with a book you know or are familiar with can allow you to start slow and build up steam over time.

Take breaks as and when needed – it may be difficult to concentrate at first. Once you’re comfortable with this step, the next is simply listening to the audiobook alone and concentrating on the story. This can be done for short bursts and increased over time. Finally, listen to audiobooks for long periods. From there, it’s worth looking at other tools for auditory rehab or talking to your audiologist to see how your hearing could be further improved.

Resources for audiobooks

There are many resources available, though the first place you may want to consider looking is in your local library. Many libraries now offer ebooks and this eliminates any of the costs of rehab and provides you with a wide selection to choose from.

A list of additional resources appears below.

App-based audiobooks:

  • Google Play Books is available through the Play Store on Android smartphones and tablets. The app has an easy to use interface and also offers ebooks.
  •  Audible – The most popular audiobook app, Audible, has a vast library of different audiobooks to pick from, making it the ideal choice for those with specific tastes. Audiobooks can be purchased as part of a subscription or one at a time, and often you will receive free credits upon signing up.
  • LibriVox is an Android app that provides free versions of classic books in audiobook form. For those on a budget, this app offers the ideal option with 24 000 free traditional options on offer and easy use via Bluetooth if required.

Web-based resources include:

  •  Aesop Fables – The online resource offers over 600 different fables in audio form. For those who prefer simple, short, and classic stories, this resource is the perfect fit.
  • Many Things – Offers a wide range of different listening tools and functionalities, from daily studies to beginner guidance. The interface may not be as modern, but there’s plenty of this site to utilise.
  •  The Listening Room – These weekly activities are suitable for people of all ages and backgrounds, though many are aimed at a children’s level of understanding. However, this doesn’t mean these resources aren’t appropriate for those just starting their rehab.

To learn more about hearing loss and what can be done about it, please contact us to book an appointment in Bedfordview or Benoni by calling our office on 011 615 3047 or email candice@cvhaudiology.co.za

Contents of this article originally appeared on: https://www.signia-hearing.com/blog/how-to-use-audiobooks-for-hearing-rehab