A man experiencing discomfort while swallowing was shocked when he found out the reason — an AirPod stuck in his oesophagus. It turns out that the man had accidentally swallowed the earpiece while in sleep.
Bradford Gauthier from Worcester, Massachusetts, US, said he was fine when he woke up one morning recently but experienced some difficulty when he tried to drink water. “It wouldn’t go down, I had to lean over to let it spill out into the sink. Gross,” he wrote on his Facebook profile talking about the unusual event.
Gauthier added that he felt something was “off with a lot of pressure in my chest”, but thought it was due to a dry throat or something from all the snow shoveling the night before. The father-of-two told NBC 2 that he went to bed that night “worn out” and next day morning shoveled snow for another hour before having any problems.
Soon, he also noticed that his earphones, with which he went to bed the night before were missing and “and could only find one after scouring the bedroom”. And what began as a joke that he might have swallowed the device in his sleep, ending up being true. He he had to get an emergency surgery to remove it.
“By that point, my son and wife had gotten the idea that I may have swallowed it. They brought it up jokingly at first, but it seemed too coincidental that I would be missing it when I knew I went to bed with it, while I felt a distinct blockage in the center of my chest,” Gauthier explained to KVEO.
His wife took him to the emergency room, where doctors did an X-ray only to find the missing earpiece lodged in the lower part of his oesophagus. They performed an emergency endoscopy removed the wireless device and Gauthier went home to catch up on his work, having never experienced more than some minor discomfort, Fox 8 reported.
“The GI physician said it’s extremely uncommon for a blockage not to be painful or severely discomforting,” the man told WWLP News 22 . “It never occurred to me that [sleeping with headphones] could be a safety hazard. I was really quite lucky,” he added.
“Be careful listening to wireless headphones when you fall asleep, you never know where they’ll end up!” he warned others in his post.
As people were glad that he is fine, many were intrigued to know if the device still works. “It works, but only at half volume. It definitely got a fair amount of water in it. Hopefully when it dries out it’ll work perfect hahaha,” the man replied.
In 2020, a seven-year-old boy from Georgia had ended up in a hospital after he accidentally swallowed an Apple AirPod his mother got him for Christmas. Luckily, the boy didn’t need any surgery as it was expected to come out on its own.