So I never thought about this before really but I never needed to until now.

I can't wear earplugs. As soon as I put them in (yes even the specially made squishy pressure release ones) I feel a back up of pressure. If they stay in too long, it all starts to hurt through my ear and jaw. Noise cancelling headphones cause pressure, but it's not as painful and I can generally keep them on to do whatever I had to do at the time (worked on a riverboat a few summers during college which included engine checks).

First time I noticed the earplug problem was in college when I went on a mini road trip with friends. We got the nice expensive earplugs so they could "rock out" (I have sensitive hearing, their volume level HURT) but I couldn't keep them in for more than five-ten minutes and everyone was ticked that they had to keep the volume down.

A couple of friends now want me to go to concerts with them and I can't. Even movie theaters can hurt my ears with loud action scenes... It's getting ridiculous as my one friend wants to buy me tickets for my birthday to see one of my favorite music artists and I can't do it

I tried googling this but all I could find were various ear issues and that everyone suggested using the earplugs. Nothing about earplugs causing the issue.

I'm stumped. Any ideas? I'd love to be able to go to the concert but it can't happen the way things are now.

I may go to the doctor for it but honestly I doubt there is anything they can do and I don't really have the money for tests etc.