As an auditory, I am very sensitive to sounds, especially loud sounds. I also love musical concerts, but often the decibel level is more than my ears want to hear. I carry earplugs with me everywhere and pop them in any time I need to take the decibel level down a bit but still want to be able to hear conversation and so on. I also find them very helpful on airline flights. Several people have asked me what type of earplug protection I use. At the risk of sounding like I'm making a commercial "plug," I will include the information. Actually, I'm indebted to my friend David Hegarty for this, as he gave me my first pair of earplugs one year for my birthday and I've not been without them since. The company is Etymotic Research, and I prefer the High-Fidelity Earplugs. My carrying case has a phone number on it, as well: 847-228-0006. Studies have shown that loud sounds can damage one's inner ear and contributed to decreased levels of hearing over one's lifetime--nothing I want to contribute to. Smile.