There is a huge stigma about ear plugs, this is similar i imagine to the way people reacted to seatbelts before they became the law.
Your hearing is a very delicate sense, the ringing that you have after a gig is known widely as tinnitus which can be permanent or be precursory to hearing loss. It shows how damaging listening to extremely loud volumes can be.
As modern speakers and amps have become more sophisticated they've also become louder, far louder than we really need. Even with electronic kits there is a risk, because we tend to like loud volumes we can turn up the volume on headphones and risk doing the same damage as the person on the bus with music so loud in his ears that you can hear it as if it's coming from a speaker system.
For everyone who plays a musical instrument hearing protection is almost as important as your instrument. Your ears are you biggest tool for your musicianship. There are many good options down to the cheap but effective to the moulded ear plugs that are comfy and especially nice to use. Here is a little range of prices and effectiveness.
Foam Based Earplugs 'HearTech QuietEar Ear Plug' Quick Overview These reusable earplugs have a noise reduction of 22dB and control a variety of noise through several frequencies. Aprx £5.49 These earplugs are the equivalent to sticking your fingers in your ears, they bring the volume level down to a safe decibel level but it does feel a little bit like you're underwater as the high frequencies get filtered more than the bass tones meaning it can sometimes be harder to hear what your playing.
ER20 Ear Plug Specifications: Earplugs for Musicians Complete with black cord Attenuation Level: 20db (Flat Attenuation) Apx Lifetime: 6 Months Aprx £12.50
These are great, they work almost as well as custom fitted plugs for less than a quarter of the price. They reduce all of the frequencies of the music at the same level, so rather than the underwater feeling it just sounds like you've turned the volume down on the room. ACS PRO20 The PRO 20 filter provides attenuation specifically designed for high noise situations where there is an emphasis on higher pitch frequencies.
These Earplugs are superior because they are custom moulded to your own ear they block all ambient noise and stop you hearing your own voice booming in your head. Though expensive to save your hearing comfortably if your playing for extended periods they are completely worth it.