Well, I'm back from my appointment with the ear specialist. I was expecting some permanent hearing loss and well, I have some permanent hearing loss. Fortunately, it's not that bad. I had good hearing until I hit the 6000hz range when my scores totally dropped. The hearing test had two parts. In the first part, I wore headphones and had to hit a buzzer whenever I heard a tone (more like a high-pitched whine). The tone would be replayed at diminishing volumes (or higher pitches?). Did the left ear first then the right ear. When I was doing the fainter noises, I really noticed the blood rushing through my head - made it really hard to hear. In the second part, I had to repeat words that were spoken to me - really simply stuff like "oatmeal", "fish", "playground". Anyways, I'm probably going to spring for the professional earplugs - the molds will be custom but the recommended filters are Etymotic Research's ER-15. Right now, I'm using Sonic II with a 6db cut but that's barely adequate for my rehearsals. Live shows will probably be louder.