Since getting my new hearing aids I am noticing that background noise annoys me a lot more. I don't know if this is a problem with my aids or simply something I will get used to, since, after all, these aids are more advanced than my previous ones and pick up more sounds altogether.
I notice it particularly when tabletop gaming, probably because it's a situation where I'm trying to focus on just one or a couple of people talking with dozens of simultaneous conversations around me. For example, Saturday night I was playing Dungeons and Dragons at the wonderful game store Empire Games and unfortunately having a difficult time thanks to the people behind me. Of course it's not really their fault. Chatting is an integral part of tabletop gaming and it's impossible to play silently. It's just hard to concentrate when the words all fade into one another, and background sound is impossible to distinguish from what you're trying to focus on.
I did mention this to my audiologist but in a different context. I mentioned how at work I can have trouble hearing patrons in front of me when people behind me (and there's usually a lot of people behind me) are talking. He set a separate program on my hearing aid that will amplify sound in front of me but not sound behind me or to my sides. I have yet to try this out. I'll admit I'm kind of a chicken about it. What if I miss something important? I'm not totally sure if it will help in a gaming situation, either. It would mean needing to look and turn my head to each person speaking.
Hmm. Well, it's worth asking my audiologist about next time I see him. Maybe he will have some suggestions or tips for me.