Drummers and Hearing
Here's a sobering fact:
Once you lose your hearing, it doesn't come back.
All drummers should take precautions whenever they play, whether it's practicing on any drum or any gig. From where we sit (or stand) our ears are taking a direct hit from cymbals and snare drums. Many a hard core rocker has lamented not using hearing protection in their younger days. (Mr. Townsend etc.)
Hearing is one of those things that tend to "go south" as we get older---if we're around drums and other instruments, we're simply increasing the odds for hearing loss.
I always use GK headphones (or similar product) when I play. They are "heavy equipment" or "shooting style" phones that are loaded with stereo ear pieces. That allows me to pipe in as much (or as little) drum sound as I desire. I've noticed a BIG TIME reduction in ear fatigue! (Vic Firth also offers them.) They also help you hear how precisely you're playing!
I use the less expensive model in all situations. If you balk at the price, consider what your hearing is worth...
(I also use protection while using a power mower or other power tool. Any prolonged somewhat loud noise is bad news to your ears.)
If nothing else, pick up a $10 pair of ear plugs. You may complain about not hearing things with all the clarity you would like, now----but it may be better than hearing everything with less clarity later.
Do you eventually want to respond to everyone with, "Huh??"?
(If you want to know how loud your kit is, put in some earplugs in and play for about 15 minutes. Now take them out and resume--you have to hear it to believe it!)
-- When you finally lie down to sleep after a gig, do you hear ringing?
-- Go into a totally quiet room...do you hear a faint ring?
-- Do your ears ever hurt, even the slightest bit, after playing?
Other Situations to Protect Against:
-- Long periods of "loud" headphone use
-- Marching percussion players!!!
-- Listening to any live band with a PA (local club or large venue)
-- Power tools / lawn mowers