COCHLEAR TIPS FOR COWBOY ACTION SHOOTERS
The following are things I’ve learned through experience with my two Cochlear implants while Cowboy Action Shooting. My wife & I shoot every weekend, rain, sleet, snow, heat, etc. I’ve had my first implant for about 4 years & my second one for about 2 years. We’ve been shooting CAS since November, 2011.
To wear or not to wear while shooting
The Cochlears cap the sound, so there’s no reason due to decibels to not wear them while shooting. I believe I actually hear better than the other shooters on my posse because they’re wearing hearing protection, & I don’t need it. When I had hearing aids, this was not the case. I really couldn’t wear the hearing aids, which meant I was deaf as a hammer while shooting. Someone was always trying to talk to me while we were shooting a stage. I would tell them I couldn’t make out a word they were saying. Then, they would continue to talk to me anyway.
Even though I don’t need hearing protection for decibels, they are a big help due to compression of the shotgun blasts & larger bullet calibers. So, I also wear ear plugs. Since my eardrums are no longer in use, it doesn’t affect my hearing one way or the other.
I have always sweated a lot, even while in the best shape of my life. Sometimes on the hottest days, I sweat so much that the Cochlears begin to work/not work erratically. Sometimes just wiping them off helps. Sometimes I have to switch to my backup instrument. Other times, I have to spray the instrument with CRC Electronic cleaner. Walmart - $5-$6 a can.
This stuff is wonderful, & it won’t hurt anything. It helps to remove the coil & the microphone cover before spraying. This is also a great product to use on anything electronic that starts to behave badly. For instance, if you have a flashlight with very old batteries that have begun to leak, & all of the connectors are corroded, you can spray this stuff on everything, & it will likely fix it. The “QD” stands for quick dry, which it does.
I also use it to clean my guns. It’s super for spraying the carrier & chamber in my rifle, then following with a little Break-free. I know lots of people use brake cleaner, but I’m partial to this, as I’ve been using it for about 9 years now. I also use it on my pistols. I buy it by the case.
Occasionally, one of the Cochlears may just start to act up for no apparent reason. The CRC will usually correct these situations also. And, it’s important to put the instrument(s) in the Zephyr dryer every night.
The button on the instrument will often fail
My Audiologist tells me this is one of the most common parts of the instrument to fail. You can get it fixed under warranty. One of mine works, & the other doesn’t. It’s not worth it to me to send it back. I can change the settings with the phone if I need to.
The insulator on the Coil will split
Happens to all of them after awhile. They’ll send you a new coil with no hassle & very quickly under warranty if this happens. It happens enough, I don’t worry about it, as it doesn’t seem to hurt anything. I don’t even make the call now when it happens.
The additional programs on the instrument don’t add value for me
Such as, the restaurant setting, etc. I really can’t tell a difference, so I only use the one. Your mileage may vary.
Two Cochlears is better than one
This is obvious. However, what’s not obvious is how much better it is. Seeing with both eyes isn’t twice as good. It’s five times as good. This is the same with the Cochlears. Two is five times as good as one. So, anytime you can qualify for a second one, that’s the way to go.
The surgery isn’t a big deal
It’s always disconcerting to “go under the knife”, but there’s no pain (or, almost no pain) or discomfort. So, any fear or dreading as a reason to not get it done just isn’t justified.
You’ll hate it at first
Your brain has to get used to the new method of communication. Voices will sound like a combination of a computerized voice (which it is), a cartoon character, & an echo chamber. It gets better over time. If you never do the exercises, it will never get better, & you won’t use it. It is very important to be diligent about doing the exercises. Hearing aids, while not as good as natural hearing, are more natural-sounding than the Cochlears. However, you get used to the Cochlears, & when hearing aids don’t do it for you anymore, Cochlears are better than being deaf. Even with the hearing aids, there came a point where I just couldn’t be involved in conversations anymore. That has all changed.
Your sense of direction as to where the sound is coming from will be gone
That’s just how it is. You’ll hear a loud noise or someone talking to you, & you won’t know which direction it’s coming from unless you can see it. If you get lost in the woods & are dependent on hearing where any sounds are coming from, you’ll be out of luck.
I don’t use the TV gizmo
I prefer the captions on the TV. I got used to them before Cochlear, & I just don’t care for the TV thing. “To each his own”.
I’ve never used the waterproof setup & never will
It’s just too involved. If I were younger than 75, maybe I would. But, I don’t see myself water skiing or even swimming anymore.
I keep my backup instruments in the console of my truck
Sometimes, if one acts up during a match, it’s easier to just get a backup out instead of wrestling with the offending instrument. Same with my guns.
Change the microphone covers regularly
They contain fine filters, & your sound will diminish greatly when they get old. Cochlear recommends every 6 months. My experience says that 6 months is the right frequency for replacement.
Keep all batteries on the charger(s) when you’re not using them
They’ll last longer. And, if you have to replace them, they’re $245 each. Ouch!
Cochlear Tips for Cowboy Action Shooters 062022.docx