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Chris Martin feels the pain

Coldplay singer Chris Martin has admitted he suffers from tinnitus. Although the temptation is to reply "No, Chris, your music always sounds like that," he is actually highlighting a serious condition.

Martin is joined by Plan B in a new campaign to warn about the condition, characterised by an irritating buzzing and ringing in the ears sometimes accompanied by pain or a pressure headache.

Martin now wears earplugs when playing live (something Coldplay's audience might like to consider). "Looking after your ears is unfortunately something you don't think about until there's a problem," he said. "I've had tinnitus for about 10 years, and since I started protecting my ears it hasn't got any worse. But I wish I'd thought about it earlier."

Plan B realises the condition was brought on by years of listening to music at very high volume. "If you're listening to music a lot, producing music or performing live, then always wear earplugs," he said. "You're not Superman! When I first developed it, I thought it was trains rushing by my house as I live near a railway line - it was really loud and an extremely high-pitched ringing in my ears. There's no doubt it's been caused by years of being on stage and subjected to very loud decibels of music."

The singers were supporting a campaign by actionhearingloss.org.uk to make young people aware of the dangers of listening to very loud music. With more and more festivals aimed at families this summer, parents should also be aware of the necessity of providing earplugs for children during live music performances.

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