Ms Geraldine Keys

[L – R] Albert Allen, Geraldine Keys, Oliver Loughran, Gerry Knight.
Meeting of Wednesday 24 April 2019: Speaker: Geraldine Keys from “Action on Hearing Loss”
Formerly known as the RNID “Action on Hearing Loss” is a charity which helps those with impaired hearing to access all amenities and services.   In Northern Ireland one person in six is affected; over 20,000 are profoundly deaf and the statistics are rising because people are living longer.   The Charity works with the Health Service by providing a Hearing Aid Users Support Service, which advises people on how to use, wear and maintain hearing aids.   An important part of the work is supporting people with Tinnitus, a condition for which there is no cure but ways of coping that make life easier.   Ms Keys regretted that too many persons wait too long before seeking help with hearing loss, one plausible reason being that hearing aids are not fashion accessories like glasses.   In a wide-ranging talk she explained that the main causes of hearing loss were age, illness, drugs, head injury, and regular exposure to loud noise: 50% of childhood deafness is inherited.   The effects of hearing loss on the individual are considerable and include depression, social isolation, frustration, anger, loss of confidence and difficulties communicating.  Her talk ended with a check list of symptoms which indicate impaired hearing and some useful tips on how those blessed with good hearing can communicate more sympathetically with those who struggle to hear what is going on in the world around them. Her talk generated many questions and a sincere vote of thanks from Probian Kenneth Collins.