Music stars reveal they have tinnitus

Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay and husband of the actress Gwenneth Paltrow, has admitted for the first time to suffering from tinnitus. Chris Martin said, “Looking after your ears is unfortunately something you don’t think about until there’s a problem. 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. Now we always use moulded filter plugs, or in-ear monitors, to try and protect our ears.”

Other music stars have also revealed they have tinnitus. Plan B, British rapper, singer-songwriter, actor and film director said, “When I first developed tinnitus, 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. I had to see an ear specialist as I couldn’t get rid of this ringing noise, I didn’t know what it was, and I was told it was tinnitus. I now have to wear special earplugs when I go to bed to help stop my ears from ringing. There’s no doubt it’s been caused by years of being on stage and subjected to very loud decibels of music. So if you’re listening to music a lot, producing music or performing live, then always wear earplugs. You’re not Superman and your hearing matters!”

The music stars spoke about their tinnitus problems during the launch of the Loud Music campaign, an Action on Hearing Loss initiative to make people aware of the dangers of listening to loud music for too long. Eighties icon Gary Numan also revealed his own hearing problems to help promote the Loud Music campaign, which educates young people to listen to music safely.  You can Watch the campaign video, comment on the campaign pages, or tweet using #loudmusic.

It’s not just loud music that can cause tinnitus, with one in ten of the population suffering with the condition; there can be many other triggers. What is important is that people seek help, as tinnitus can cause anxiety and stress, which can also make the tinnitus seem worse. GPs and charities such as the British Tinnitus Association (www.tinnitus.org.uk) can all offer help, as can your local independent hearing aid dispenser. It is important to speak to someone if this is affecting you or a loved one.