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Are Feather Duvets Bad For Asthma

Watch Out For Feather Duvet Lung Caution Doctors

Asthma Triggers

Exaggerated allergic reaction to feather-filled bedding prompts severe lung inflammation

Watch out for feather duvet lung doctors have warned in the journal BMJ Case Reports after treating a middle aged man with severe lung inflammation that developed soon after he bought feather-filled bedding.

The 43 year old was referred to respiratory specialists after 3 months of malaise, fatigue and increasing breathlessness which affected the simplest of activities, such as going from room to room and walking up the stairs at home.

His symptoms worsened to the point where he could only stand or walk for a few minutes without feeling as if he were about to pass out. He was signed off work and managed to do little more than sleep all day.

He was quizzed about possible triggers for his symptoms: there was a small amount of mould in the bathroom, and he owned a cat and a dog, but no birds, so the doctors concluded that these factors were unlikely to be responsible.

But he had recently swapped a synthetic duvet and pillows for feather filled bedding, he said.

Blood tests revealed antibodies to bird feather dust, and his chest x-ray was consistent with hypersensitivity pneumonitis–a condition in which the air sacs and airways in the lungs become severely inflamed as a result of the bodys exaggerated immune response to a particular trigger.

Notes for editors

Clinical lesson: Feather duvet lung doi 10.1136/bcr-2019-231237Journal: BMJ Case Reports

Nomite Down Duvets: Protect Yourself From Allergies

The last place you want to worry about an allergic reaction is when youre wrapped up in your new down duvet. If you suffer from an allergy, then you know just how important it is to avoid your allergens. This article explains the technology used in an anti-allergy duvet to give it the NOMITE guarantee.

Standard Uk Duvet Sizes

  • Cot bed: 120cm x 150cm
  • Single: 135cm x 200cm
  • Super King: 260cm x 220cm
  • Emperor size: 290cm x 235cm

These all correspond to different mattress sizes. If you tend to feel cold in bed, go for the next size up from your mattress size , so that the duvet flows over the edges to keep warm air in and any draughts out.

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Dustmites In Your Bedding

Dustmite allergen, found within dustmite droppings, is one of the most common triggers for asthma, eczema and rhinitis. Dustmites thrive in dark, humid areas where there is a ready food supply of dead skin scales, so pillows and duvets provide an ideal environment in which they thrive.

If you are sensitised to dustmite allergen and your allergy is triggered by inhaling it when you’re in bed, getting rid of them from your bedding is important. But killing dustmites is only half the battle. For complete avoidance you need to denature and eliminate the allergen too.

What This Study Adds

" Feather Duvet Lung disease is a subset of bird fancier
  • ⶠNew feather bedding was not associated with an altered risk of wheeze symptoms lung function or quality of life after 12 months.
  • ⶠThis trial does not support recommendations that feather bedding should be avoided for children with asthma.
  • ⶠChild sleep position should be taken into account for trials examining the bedding environment and asthma.

Here, we report on an RCT to determine whether, among children not using feather upper bedding, a new feather pillow and quilt reduces asthma severity among HDM sensitised children with asthma over a 1-year period compared with dust mite avoidance advice when all children are also given a new mite-occlusive mattress cover.

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Environmental Outcomes: Hdm Allergen Levels

In past studies, HDM allergen exposures have often been assessed as the concentration of allergen in dust from bedroom floors and the child’s bedding. More recently, airborne or inhaled allergen levels have been used to more accurately measure exposure. Here, inhaled HDM aeroallergen exposure was sampled using model 2 nasal air samplers , worn by children for 10 min after getting into bed each night, for four nights. A sampling protocol, played on a CD player, describing bed entry and gentle movements, was used to emulate natural sleep disturbance and standardise disturbance. NAS were previously coated internally with an adhesive which collected impacted particles, which were extracted with 0.7 ml of 1% bovine serum albumin, 0.05% Tween, phosphate buffered saline buffer and analysed for Der p 1. Additionally, ambient nocturnal aeroallergen exposure was sampled using 25 mm GF/A glass fibre air filters as described, held in an Institute of Occupational Medicine Inhalable Sampling Head , located within 1 metre of the pillow and connected to a diaphragm pump with airflow of 2.0 litre/min. Samples were managed by an electronic timer and collected for 6 h after going to bed each night for 4 nights . Filters were extracted in 1.0 ml of the same buffer as the NAS.

Does The Synthetic Content In Pillows And Duvets Increase The Risk Of Asthma

This question was raised in the periodical journal for Norwegian doctors in 1998 by Martinus Løvik, .

Traditionally, patients suffering from asthma have been advised to quit down duvets and pillows and start using synthetic duvets and pillows. Løvik stresses that this general advise has been based on tradition and belief, rather than on empirical research and analysis.

Løviks article refers to British research and research from New Zealand examining the content in sleeping pillows and duvets, exploring whether the content contributes to the issue of serious asthma. The researches to which Løvik is referring are

  • Strachan DP, Carey IM “Home environment and severe asthma in adolescence a population based case-control study.” BMJ 1995 311:1053-6
  • Kemp TJ, Siebers RW, Fishwick D, OGrady GB, Fitzharris P, Crane J. “House dust mite allergen in pillows.” BMJ 1996 313:916
  • The first article focuses on British children suffering from serious breathing problems. Two key factors were shown to affect these breathing problems: living with fur-coated pets increased the problems, while pillows filled with down had a significant protective effect in comparison to pillows with synthetic content.

    Further sources to Løviks article:

  • Løvik M, Gaarder PI, Mehl R. Red. “The house dust mite its biology and the role in allergic disease. A synopsis.” Allergy 1998
  • Sporik R, Chapman MD,Platts.Mills TAE. “House dust mite exposure as a cause of asthma.” Clin Exp Allergy 1992 22:897-906

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    Feather And Down Duvets: Pros And Cons

    • Pros: Retains heat prevents overheating lasts longer than synthetics if cared for properly
    • Cons: More expensive than hollowfibre has to be professionally laundered some people can be allergic to the filling

    More than 33% of Which? members choose feather and down duvets, making it the second-most popular option. Its no wonder these lightweight, cosy duvets retain heat well but still help you to avoid overheating. Plus, if cared for properly, they will last much longer than synthetic fibre alternatives.

    As the name suggests, feather and down duvets combine feathers, the outer part of a birds plumage, with down, the lighter, fluffier fibres that lie beneath feathers and provide insulation. The ratio of feather to down will affect the duvet’s warmth and price.

    It’s important to note that feather and down aren’t always taken from the bird in a humane way. To ensure you’re buying a duvet with feathers that have been ethically sourced, you’ll need to check with manufacturers and retailers to find out what their policy is.

    As well as having a tog rating , feather and down duvets are rated by their fill power. The higher the fill power, the larger each individual piece of down will be, resulting in a loftier, fluffier duvet, which provides better insulation.

    Results For Environmental Aeroallergen Measurement

    An Asthma Friendly Bedroom

    For inhaled exposure using NAS, data were available for 85 of 102 children, of these, 65 were above the HDM detection cut-off. Children without feather bedding were exposed to a median of 15 pg and those with feather bedding were exposed to a median of 9.5 pg . For nocturnal aeroallergen collected using air filters, data were available for 100 of the 102 children, of whom 69 were above the cut-off. Children without feather bedding were exposed to a median of 28.0 pg/m3 of Der p 1 and children with feather bedding were exposed to a median of 16.0 pg/m3 Der p 1 .

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    Can You Be Allergic To Duck Feather Duvets


    If it’s stuffed with goose feathers or down, it could simply be that your nighttime allergies symptoms are caused by a reaction to the feathers. While a genuine allergy to feathers is not common, it is possible and may be worth being tested.

    Furthermore, what are the symptoms of feather allergy? Other possible feather allergy symptoms can include sneezing, coughing, sore throat, postnasal drip, watery and itchy eyes, and even black circles under the eyes, which are known as allergic shiners. In extreme cases, reactions can escalate to breathing difficulties, reduced lung capacity and weight loss.

    Additionally, is duck feather bad for allergies?

    Individuals with allergies or asthma have had a long-standing bias against the use of chicken, goose and duck feather pillows, comforters, quilts, and mattresses. In this study, it shows that unprocessed feathers contain dust-mite allergen that is removed by washing.

    Can you be allergic to bedding?

    Bedding, whether it contains feathers or a synthetic material, is a dust mite hot spot. Not everyone is allergic to dust mites, but if you are, then, beyond nasal congestion, you may also experience coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, and headaches. Dust mites are also a common cause of children’s asthma.

    Feather Duvet Lung Disease

    Bird allergies are not uncommon. Often called bird fanciers asthma, symptoms can range from a wheezy cough, runny nose and eye irritation to asthma to more serious complications such as Taylors. People with allergies are most at risk when bird cages or lofts are cleaned out, and during the time of year when birds molt and shed their feathers.

    Feather Duvet Lung disease is a subset of bird fanciers asthma, and its difficult to diagnose because of its rarity and the wide variety in timing and type of symptoms.

    Onset of symptoms following exposure to new feather duvets or pillows can range from three weeks to five years. Difficulty in breathing can grow over time, and the patient can have night sweats, dry cough, weight loss and fever. The condition is often misdiagnosed if the person reports no birds in the home, and many doctors dont think to ask about bedding.

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    Trial Interview Schedule And Study Sample

    A total of 759 children were assessed for eligibility . One hundred and ninety-seven children were randomised, had baseline interviews, spirometric assessments completed and a home visit to apply the bedding changes. Phone interviews were conducted every 3 months with follow-up home visits and clinic assessments at 12 months postintervention. The interviews collected data on respiratory symptoms, quality of life and other factors such as usual sleep position by asking: âWhat position does your child usually sleep in?â and providing options including âon the backâ .

    Subject flow diagram.

    Can I Still Have A Down Duvet If I Am Allergic To Dust Mites


    Absolutely, but you need to take some precautions. First, a lot of people who are allergic to dust mites think they are allergic to down. But genuine down allergies are vanishingly rare. For this reason we recommend seeing a doctor about what is triggering your allergy.

    If you are indeed allergic to dust mites it is important to pick a duvet crafted with you in mind. To start with, it is important to choose a duvet with fine outer casing. This fabric which encloses the down should be tightly woven to ensure dust mites cant get in. Designed to be tight enough to keep in the finest down, fabric with a high Ne rating provides excellent protection against allergens.

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    Top Tips For Indoor Air Pollution

  • Open windows if you can or use extractor fans, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Itll help clear any indoor pollutants and prevent damp and mould.
  • Reduce dust mites as much as possible by regularly washing bedding or using anti-allergy covers. Read more on dust mites.
  • Avoid aerosols and sprays go for non-spray cleaning and personal products.
  • Avoid strong smells and chemicals look for mild or unscented products, and products low in VOCs .
  • Dont smoke. Cigarette smoke is a dangerous asthma trigger. And it can also make you and your child more sensitive to other indoor triggers.
  • Make sure any heaters, cookers and boilers are serviced regularly. Also make sure any new appliances are fitted properly with adequate ventilation.
  • Keep Your Home Well Aired

    Keeping your home well aired can help to reduce exposure to some common indoor triggers. It means any fumes from fires, cookers, cleaning products, paints, aerosols and sprays are cleared away more quickly. And it helps prevent problems like damp and mould.

    It also helps keep humidity down which is good news if youre worried about dust mites which like humid conditions.

    Opening windows, using fans

    Opening windows and doors is important for helping indoor fumes and dust escape. Some windows have small vents built into them known as trickle vents, which you can keep open. But it can also let in outdoor triggers like pollen and air pollution.

    Weather and season can affect indoor and outdoor pollution. So take care on high pollution or pollen days if these are triggers for your asthma. And remember to open windows in winter, when there are typically higher levels of pollutants in your home because of using gas appliances and fires more.

    Watch out for dusty fans or extractors or youll end up blowing dust all round the room.

    Air filters

    Some people tell us having an air filter or air purifier helps them with their asthma symptoms. However more research is needed to show whether this works.

    Air filters cant remove all allergens and even a few left behind can trigger asthma symptoms, says Dr Andy. And for something like second hand cigarette smoke, the best advice is always not to smoke in the first place, particularly around children.


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    Dorma Full Forever Anti Allergy Firm Support Pillow Pair

    Best: Overall

    Rating: 10/10

    This is the closest thing to sleeping on a pillow fit for a queen, because Dorma, which started producing bedlinen 100 years ago in 1921, has a royal warrant. But its a brand which has clearly moved with the times. This particular polyester-filled pillow has an anti-mite treatment.

    Although the feature we loved the most is the simplest a label which lists the date it was made and which has space on which we can write the date of purchase. Its springy but has a reassuring weightiness which provided just the right amount of support.

    Synthetic Duvets For Allergies

    How to care for natural filled duvets and pillows

    Spundown Home-washable Duvets. There are an awful lot of man-made duvets on the market that describe themselves as hypoallergenic.The Spundown fibre-filled duvet has been made with smartfil® technology that makes it compress well into a domestic washing machine. It can be washed at 60°C and tumble dried and is a good choice if you are going to wash your bedding frequently to keep it free of dustmite or pet allergen. We recommend it if you can tolerate synthetics.

    Fossflakes Thermo-regulating Duvet is the latest bedding to make it on to our recommended list. The feel of these beautifully made duvets is really soft and luxurious, like natural down but without the price tag. However unlike down-filled bedding which has to be dry-cleaned, you can wash a Fossflakes duvet at 60°C to keep it hypoallergenic For sleepers sharing a bed, differing body temperatures can mean one partner is boiling hot and the other pretty chilly. However the special filling in a Fossflakes duvet responds to the body temperature of each sleeper, so both you and your partner can enjoy the temperature that suits.

    Learn More About the Fossflakes Duvet

    “Breathe” the Hypoallergenic, Climate Control Duvet. The clever technology behind this superb, climate control duvet makes it an excellent choice for anyone with eczema, or any condition made worse by overheating. It’s also a great choice for anyone who tends to get hot and sweaty in bed.

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    Are Down Duvets Hypoallergenic

    DownduvetsfeatherdownHypoallergenic Downdown

    Hollowfibre duvets are the most popular with our members more than 40% choose to buy these hard-wearing, affordable duvets. Hollowfibre is a synthetic material, which can be good for allergy sufferers as it is hypoallergenic. Unlike feather duvets, these can be machine washed regularly, so they are easy to care for.

    Similarly, how do you know if you are allergic to goose down? Runny nose. Itchy, red or watery eyes. Nasal congestion. Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat.

    Consequently, what is a hypoallergenic duvet?

    Hypoallergenic” means that the pillow or duvet is less likely to trigger allergies. “Anti-allergy” means that the pillow or duvet has been treated in some way to combat the development of dustmites or offer protection against their allergen.

    Can a person be allergic to down feathers?

    If it’s stuffed with goose feathers or down, it could simply be that your nighttime allergies symptoms are caused by a reaction to the feathers. While a genuine allergy to feathers is not common, it is possible and may be worth being tested.

    Left Unchecked Condition Can Lead To Scarring Of The Lungs Or Even Respiratory Failure

    As the chill of the Scottish autumn set in, a 43-year-old man went to see a family doctor in 2016. For about the last three months, he was constantly tired and out of breath. The physician at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in Scotland thought the patient, who worked a desk job and didnt smoke cigarettes, had an infection in his lower respiratory tract.

    At first the man got better. But then it got so bad that the patient had to take 14 days off work. The doctor looked at the mans blood count, kidney and liver function, and took a chest radiograph, all of which seemed normal.

    Stumped, he called his colleague, Dr Owen Dempsey, a pulmonologist at the infirmary. Dempsey swiftly called the patient, who was breathless even upon picking up the phone. Patient histories are important, Dempsey said, so he was suitably nosy and asking about his domestic setup.

    Q: Were there pets in the home? A: Yes. A cat and a dog, but no birds. Q: Was there mold? A: A bit, in the bathroom. Q: Oh, and was there feather bedding? A: During the past year, the man had gotten a feather blanket and pillows.

    Or in this case, dust from duck or goose feathers found in bedding. The verdict on the patients condition was that he had feather duvet lung, a subset of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. The account was published Monday in BMJ Case Reports

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