Emmett, Idaho — A hearing aid exploded near an Emmett man while it was being charged.
He wasn’t’ seriously injured but, now he wants to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.
He was trying to help someone by buying the hearing aid online. It turned out his good intentions to help someone literally blew up in his face. He says he wants everyone else to know that buying a hearing aid online is not a good idea.
Kevin Airrington just wanted to help an elderly neighbor who has a hearing problem.
“He asked me about getting a hearing aid because he went to the ear doctor and it’s about $3,000 and his insurance wouldn’t cover it,” said Airrington.
So he looked online and found one on eBay.
“It was like $22 bucks, really cheap,” said Airrington.
The product was made in China.
“We knew it wouldn’t work like a three thousand dollar hearing aid, but we thought it might help him enough to where he wasn’t going ‘huh’ all the time,” said Airrington.
It arrived by mail on Monday.
“I open it up; I’m kind of excited that it’s here for him. I’m going to charge it up so it’s all charged up ready to go as soon as he comes over,” said Airrington.
He plugged it in and went back to what he was doing.
“Less than five minutes later, there was this big loud kaboom,” said Airrington.
“I hear, this bang and I look around and my dad he looks confused himself and he’s holding his face,” said Nicholas James, Airrington’s son.
“My face was burning and my ear was ringing. There was quite a bit of pain,” said Airrington.
He couldn’t’ figure out what had happened.
“I see pieces of plastic all over and, you know, after looking around I realized this is what happened,” said Airrington.
The hearing aid had been blown to bits.
“The hearing aid exploded like a bomb, just kaboom!” said Airrington.
“Just think what would happened if it had exploded in somebody’s ear,” said James.
Airrington was slightly injured in the face, but what’s worse is his hearing was affected. He got a refund for the product and he also called eBay and they said they were sorry, but there was nothing they could do.
“And they said ‘yes, if somebody sent you a bomb through eBay all you do is leave negative feedback,’” said Airrington.
An expert from the Idaho Elks rehab hospital says it’s not only a bad idea but, also illegal to sell hearing aids online directly to customers.
He says it’s best to go to a trained doctor to get a prescription in the first place.
“One thing you get is their professional expertise and training how to adjust and fit that hearing instrument and how to do the follow up care. The real success of most hearing aid patients is in the relationship with the audio expert they are working with,” said Michael Sturmak, chief operating officer of Elks Hearing and Balance Center.
A professional will make sure it’s fitted properly and that the hearing aid works correctly.
“Plus, you don’t have any real understanding of what you’re getting. You may be getting something someone made in somebody’s garage,” said Sturmak.
To find out more about investing in better hearing with a certified Audiologist, go to www.utahhearingaids.com.