The RNID is considering changing its name as part of a £260,000 rebrand.
Chief executive Jackie Ballard told supporters during a live chat on Twitter that research had shown the existing name was "not well recognised and is a barrier to people who are hard of hearing".
Some people, she said, didn’t know what the initials stood for.
The name change will be considered as part of a rebranding exercise, which will include the creation of a new website by next June.
Ballard said she hoped the move would make the charity "more relevant to everyone – deaf, hard of hearing, hearing".
Sherine Krause, managing director of external engagement at the RNID, said the charity had spent six months talking to 3,000 people about its brand.
"People generally aren’t very aware of us and often confuse us with other charities with similar names – RNIB especially," said Krause.
"Because of the D in our name they assume, incorrectly, that we’re just here to support people who are deaf. This means people with a hearing loss don’t think we’re relevant for them and are needlessly struggling with the effects of hearing loss, when we could be helping them.
"It’s vital that we have a brand that makes people aware of the services we offer and also encourages people to support us with their time and money so that we can continue to provide those services.
Strategic consultancy Spencer du Bois is leading work on naming and strategy and Hat Trick Design is leading the creative side.