I always try to protect my hearing.
At the gun range I wear both in ear foam protection and ear muffs.
On motorcycles I aways have protection or doing things like leaf blowing etc., thing is to be consistent.
Most people don't realize they are playing their ipod type devices too loud and that will add up over time.
The guys with the super loud car stereos will all be deaf soon if they aren't already.
Even after all that, I will still get mild tinnitus if I play my guitar at what I think is not a too high sound level, luckily it goes away after a couple of months.
I think you should always carry foam ear protection in your wallet like a condom, since you never know when you will need it.
The journey is the reward.