Chris Martin has come out as a long-time sufferer of tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing in the ears and painful earaches and headaches. The Coldplay frontman spoke for the first time about his ailment, which often afflicts those who repeatedly listen to loud music.

Martin told The Daily Mirror, "I’ve had tinnitus for about 10 years, but since I started protecting my ears it hasn’t got any worse... Looking after your ears is unfortunately something you don’t think about until there’s a problem. I wish I’d thought about it earlier."

The singer said he believes his ears were affected long before he started performing with Coldplay, when he listened to blaring music as a teen. These days, he takes precautions while performing. "The band use molded filter plugs, or in-ear monitors," he said. "You can use industrial headphones but they look strange at a party."

The Mirror quoted a source close to Martin who said, "Chris suffered with terrible ringing in his ears and excruciating headaches. If he hadn’t sought treatment, he might not be performing today." Martin said he does not expose his children to loud music.

Tinnitus can cause severe hearing damage and even deafness if left untreated. Martin is speaking out as he gets involved with Action on Hearing Loss, a U.K. organization that aims to prevent and treat hearing loss. Rapper Plan B and '80s pop singer Gary Numan, sufferers of tinnitus themselves, are also involved in the campaign.