I understand your dilemma and hear this complaint often. You are most likely experiencing what we call a Temporary Threshold Shift. TTS comes from noise exposure and is normally accompanied by tinnitus (the ringing).
The good news is that it is VERY uncommon for a person to permanently lose their hearing due to an isolated incident of noise exposure. The hearing typically returns to normal in a week or so, and the tinnitus will most likely subside as well.
But the concerning part is that any time you experience Temporary Threshold Shift and tinnitus, you have exposed your ears to dangerous levels of sound. You can get custom musicians plugs to protect your hearing that fit well inside your ear (only a small part is visible) and they can be made in flesh colors so that they are less noticeable.
Over time, as you expose your ears to more and more dangerous levels of sound, the Temporary Threshold Shifts will give way to Permanent Threshold Shifts (permanent hearing loss) and the tinnitus will remain permanent.
I know you dont want to feel like a dork - but if you dont want to wear hearing protection, you’ll end up having to wear hearing aids, which people will notice anyway. There’s nothing dorky about taking good care of yourself
Hope that helps!