I'll be 38 in March and I have to turn my head to the right sometimes when people talk to me. I never wore protection when I was a kid. Started wearing them in the military when we went to the range or on the flightline (turbine engines are LOUD!) I never used to wear them when I would hunt for the same reasons already listed. Then I started noticing hearing loss. Now I wear the game ears. They shut off when you shoot. Or foam ear plugs when I forget the electronic ones.
Never tried the muffs for hunting. Usually one shot one kill and I don't notice it.