At the behest of my wife, I went for a hearing test to determine how much hearing loss I had... with her accompanying me. I'm not ashamed to say (now) that scared the shit out of me. In this weird panic, I was worried she'd see how bad it is was and say, "Screw this!" and leave me.
Maybe people assume hearing loss is just a minor indignity of age, on par with getting reading glasses, or perhaps because one can't tell what the hearing-impaired are missing, it's easy to get frustrated with them, and harder to be sympathetic.