A freelance DJ is campaigning for everyone to habitually put on ear protection the same way they would lather on suncream.

Loughton born Marc Nicholson has been suffering from tinnitus the last decade after playing music in nightclubs for more than 20 years.

The condition leaves him with a permanent ringing sound in his ear.

“I first got into music when I was eleven years old I started playing the playing the drums,” explained Mr Nicholson.

“It was great fun but after every lesson I would come out with a ringing in my ears.”

When Mr Nicholson turned 19, he swapped percussion for turntables, playing house music at venues including the Ministry of Sound.

But one morning when he was 28, the ringing in his ears “just felt different from before.”

Shortly after being referred to an ears, nose and throat specialist, he was diagnosed with chronic tinnitus.

“I fell into a state of depression and really struggled with it," Mr Nicholson added.

"Every single day I woke up and think how am I going to get through today?”

Thankfully, he reached out for advice online a helpline for the UK’s largest hearing charity, Action on Hearing Loss.

The 38-year-old said: “They were really helpful and they said you just need let go of that self- blame and to forgive yourself.”

Mr Nicholson became a member for the charity attending regular meetings but quickly noticed a significant audience gap.

“No young people or musicians were there at all.

“I started volunteering going to London festivals and talk about tinnitus on behalf of Action Hearing Loss and educating people about hearing loss and protection.”

“You then see the look of horror on their faces.”

According to The British Tinnitus Association the number of people living with a hearing condition in the UK is set to increase to 500,000 by 2028.

The 38-year-old encourages those who regularly play or attend gigs to sign up to Musicians Hearing Help Scheme for a free check-up and discounted syringe cleaning.

His main concern is to include ear protection as part of schools health and safety agenda during music lessons.

Mr. Nicholoson said many close friends and associates within the music industry have the condition or similar hearing loss problems.

Despite being a sufferer of tinnitus, Mr Nicholson continues his passion for DJ’ing whilst using customised ear plugs to play music safely.

“I still live a very happy life, tinnitus is just something I manage," he said.

“I get a lot of joy helping a lot of people, telling them it’s not the end, there’s life after tinnitus."

Anyone wanting to see Mr Nicholson in action can see him playing at The Basement in Chelmsford this Saturday.