WHAT KIND OF EARPLUGS ARE YOU USING?
YOU KNOW, LIKE TYPE AND BRAND?
I am using old fashioned foam hearos. I have tried many different types but those work best for me. And here's my secret - I keep a pair longer than you'd expect and they get better with age/use in my experience. You'd not think it was hygienic at all, but it works and so far no bad consequences 😉
I have also used Doc's Pro Plugs (aka Doc Brown's Pro Plugs). I reused my scuba diving vented versions of the pro plugs on my bike and they seemed to limit the noise while allowing me to hear conversations (and sirens) pretty well. They have non vented versions which may be more effective , but they are primarily focused on keeping water out of ears so YMMV.