Turning Up the Volume on the TV/Radio? It Could Be Hearing Loss

Written by the Nano Hearing Aids Team
Reviewed for Accuracy by Lindsay Roberts, AuD.

Lindsay Roberts
Turning Up the Volume on the TV/Radio?  It Could Be Hearing Loss

Television and radio are a source of entertainment, news, and connection in most people’s daily lives. But if you find yourself frequently turning up the volume on your TV or radio to hear, even when others say it’s already loud, you could potentially have hearing loss.

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of hearing loss, its potential causes, and what your next steps should be if you think you could have hearing loss.

What is Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is a reduction in the ability to perceive sounds. It can be categorized as sensorineural, conductive, or mixed. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs due to inner ear or nerve damage, conductive comes from problems in the outer or middle ear, and mixed hearing loss is a combination of both.

Hearing loss can range from mild/moderate to severe. Having difficulty hearing the volume on the TV or radio is a common symptom associated with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss, but there are many other symptoms that can also occur, including (but not limited to):

  • Trouble hearing conversations in noisy places and with a lot of background noise or loud sounds
  • Feeling tired from listening
  • Finding it difficult to follow conversations and hear people in group settings
  • Difficulty hearing someone on the phone

Potential symptoms of severe hearing loss can be quite different than mild to moderate hearing loss and include the below (among other symptoms):

  • Difficulty hearing conversations
  • Unable to hear sounds or finding it very difficult to hear sounds, including loud noises (even in quiet environments)
  • You might find yourself reading lips as a result of your hearing loss
Additional Potential Signs Of Hearing Loss with the TV and Radio

Frequently needing to turn up the TV volume or radio is just one potential sign of hearing loss. Other signs you have hearing loss could include:

  • Difficulty Understanding Speech: Struggling to decipher words or conversations from the TV speakers, even when the TV volume is turned up high
  • Needing Subtitles or Closed Captioning: Relying on visual aids to understand dialogue, despite the audio output being loud through the stereo system or TV speakers
  • Frequent Misunderstandings: Misinterpreting words or phrases broadcasted through the TV sound system, leading to confusion about the content
  • Trouble with Background Noise: Difficulty separating main dialogue from background music or effects played through the internal speakers or external audio system
  • Asking Others to Repeat: Frequently asking family or friends to explain what was said because the audio from the TV speakers was not clear
  • Volume Conflicts: Family members or roommates complain about the excessively high volume set via the remote control for both the TV and stereo system
  • Leaning in or Straining: Subconsciously moving closer to the TV or external speakers, straining to catch dialogue better
  • Preference for Specific Channels or Programs: Favoring shows or stations that seem clearer through the internal or external audio system, possibly due to slower pacing or better audio output quality
potential signs of hearing loss
Potential Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be caused by many different factors, including the below.

  • Age related hearing loss (presbycusis)
  • Noise-induced hearing loss (from headphones or working at loud jobs, such as construction)
  • Earwax blockage
  • Ear infections
  • Genetics
  • Head injury or trauma
  • Ototoxic medications (drugs that damage hearing)
  • Chronic diseases (such as diabetes or hypertension)
  • Meniere's disease
  • Tumors (acoustic neuroma)
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Malformation of the inner ear
  • Viral or bacterial infections (such as meningitis)
  • Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Ear injuries or perforated eardrum
  • Ear canal obstructions (such as foreign objects)
  • Radiation therapy to the head or neck
  • Neurological conditions (such as multiple sclerosis)
What To Do If You Have Trouble Hearing The TV or Radio

If you find yourself frequently needing to increase the TV or radio volume and have other symptoms associated with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss, consider purchasing OTC hearing aids. You don’t need a prescription to purchase them and you aren’t required to visit a hearing healthcare professional - you just need to be 18 years old or older and suspect that you have perceived mild to moderate hearing loss.

However, if you suspect you might have severe hearing loss, you should schedule a consultation with a hearing healthcare professional. They can conduct a series of hearing tests and medical evaluations to determine if you need prescription hearing aids or another type of treatment.

What To Look For in OTC Hearing Aids

When deciding which OTC hearing aids are best for you, make sure they have the following features:



The OTC hearing aids you choose should be affordable. There are several high-quality options available online that are priced under $600, so there’s no longer a need to spend thousands of dollars.

Easy to Use

easy to use

OTC hearing aids should be intuitive and straightforward for every user. For example, Nano OTC hearing aids can be turned on with the simple push of a button. Then all you need to do is place them in your ears and adjust the volume as needed. While it might feel strange for your ears and brain when first wearing hearing aids, this feeling typically subsides after several days.

FDA Registered, Class I

FDA registered

OTC hearing aids that are FDA Registered, Class I means they are real hearing aids, are considered a medical device, and are generally safe to use when compared to higher-classified hearing aid devices. Other classifications might contain risks such as excessive amplification of sound or the development of tinnitus (a ringing sensation in the ears). FDA Registered, Class I OTC hearing aids ultimately provide users with less risk of harming the ears and therefore an overall safer experience.

Background Noise Reduction Technology


Background noise reduction technology can be a key component for OTC hearing aids to reduce background noise and therefore, make it possible for individuals to hear more clearly.

Adjustable Volume

adjustable volume

There should be multiple settings for you to adjust the volume to the best volume for your needs.

Customizable Ear Tips

customizable ear tips

OTC hearing aids aren’t necessarily one-size-fits-all, which is why it’s important to look for ones that contain customizable ear tips. By having multiple dome sizes to choose from, you are more likely to find a fit that is comfortable for your ears.

Nearly Invisible

nearly visible

Hearing aid technology and design have significantly advanced in the last few years, allowing for smaller and more discreet designs. Two popular designs include Behind-the-Ear (BTE) OTC hearing aids, which sit behind the ear, and Completely-in-Canal (CIC) OTC hearing aids, which fit entirely inside the ear canal. Both are far less noticeable than traditional hearing aid styles.



OTC hearing aids that use a portable charging base (rather than batteries) make them extremely convenient. At the end of each day, you can place the hearing aids on their charging dock and leave them to charge overnight. This eliminates the hassle of needing to purchase and replace disposable batteries, saving you time and money.

Warranty and Protection Plan Options


By choosing OTC hearing aids that offer a protection plan or warranty option, you’ll get financial protection, extended coverage, and enhanced support. These plans often cover things such as accidental damage and loss/theft and ensure you’ll be able to enjoy your hearing aids for an extended period of time.

Why Is It Important To Address Hearing Loss?

While it might not seem like a big deal if you need the volume loud to hear the TV, leaving hearing loss untreated can significantly impact your health and quality of life. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to address the symptoms of hearing loss sooner rather than later:

  • Potentially prevents the progression of hearing loss
  • Enhances your ability to communicate effectively with others
  • Improves your mental health if you’ve been isolating due to having difficulty hearing others (decreasing your chances of depression and anxiety)
  • Increases engagement in social activities, hobbies, and overall life enjoyment
  • Potentially slows cognitive decline and reduces the risk of dementia
  • Reduces safety concerns by enabling you to hear hazards in the environment, such as oncoming traffic or emergency signals
  • Can improve job performance and opportunities by facilitating better communication and responsiveness in the workplace
  • Makes it easier to maintain social connections
Do You Already Wear Hearing Aids? Make Sure They Are Clean

If you already have hearing aids and are having difficulty hearing the TV or radio, it could be a sign you need to clean your hearing aids. It’s important to clean your hearing aids often for the best hearing results.

Here’s how to clean your Nano OTC hearing aids:

Step 1

Remove the dome (if using) from the hearing aid tip

Step 2

Use a dry cloth or alcohol wipe to clean the body of the hearing aid

Step 3

Use a hearing aid brush or a dry cloth to gently remove debris and wax from the tip of the hearing aid (it’s important to have the ear tip free of wax or debris as blockage may result in feedback or limited sound)

Step 4

Change the wax guard (if wearing a CIC model) if unable to remove wax from the tip of the hearing aid

Step 5

We recommend changing the dome every three months. (However, change the dome sooner if it’s stiff, brittle, or discolored)

Step 6

After cleaning your hearing aid, securely connect the dome to the tip of the hearing aid

OTC Hearing Aids For Perceived Mild To Moderate Hearing Loss

Many people with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss have found it beneficial to wear hearing aids that are OTC, as they can be a great solution for improving hearing. These FDA-regulated devices don't need a prescription, hearing exam, or doctor's appointment. You can try them in the comfort of your home, and you can adjust the volume to suit your specific needs. With Nano OTC hearing aids, you simply pick the best dome size for your ears, turn them on, and put them in. Keep in mind it might take several days or weeks for your ears and brain to get used to them, which is why Nano OTC Hearing Aids come with a 45-day money-back guarantee and free 24/7 lifetime support.

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