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09 February 2021

Massachusetts man swallows one of his AirPods while sleeping

09 February 2021

A Massachusetts man went to bed listening to music on his Apple AirPods — and ended up swallowing one without realising it.

And now, Brad Gauthier is warning other wireless headphone users to think twice before listening to music to send you to sleep.

Gauthier woke up and spent about an hour clearing snow from his driveway with the device unknowingly lodged in his throat. But when he went inside to take a drink of water, the liquid wouldn’t go down — and Gauthier’s son suggested that perhaps he’d swallowed the missing earbud.

“By that point, my son and wife . . . 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 centre of my chest,” Gauthier told local TV station 22 News.

An X-Ray, taken at a local emergency room showed a faint image of an earbud-shaped blockage in Gauthier’s throat.

Doctors used a long, thin tube to retract the AirPod, which measures about two inches long, and Gauthier was on his way — having experienced no more than minor discomfort.

“The GI physician said it’s extremely uncommon for a blockage not to be painful or severely discomforting,” he told WWLP. “It never occurred to me that [sleeping with headphones] could be a safety hazard. I was really quite lucky.” 

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