Doctors Link Bedding To A Condition Called Feather Duvet Lung

mbg Editorial Assistant By Abby Moore
mbg Editorial Assistant
Abby Moore is an Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine.

Image by Ali Harper / Stocksy

The thought of being allergic to a cozy bed is sad, to say the least. A new report, however, has found something called "feather duvet lung" after a man changed his bedding and suffered from a mysterious condition.

Following the purchase of feather-filled bedding, a 43-year-old man experienced three months of fatigue, discomfort, and shortness of breath.

The respiratory issues made simple activities, like moving around his house and using the stairs, challenging. Eventually, the man was unable to stand or walk without feeling faint. These symptoms forced him to take medical leave from work and eventually into bed rest.

After several rounds of studies, tests and X-rays, doctors diagnosed the man with "feather duvet lung." 

The journal BMJ Case Reports warns against the condition, which occurs after breathing in the organic dust of duck or goose feathers, often found in duvets and pillows. 

Blood tests showed antibodies from bird feather dust in his system and a chest X-ray revealed a lung condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This lung condition occurs when air sacs and air passages in the lungs become inflamed as an immune response to certain allergens. In this case, the allergen was feather dust. 

This case is the first of its kind, but the authors warn that the diagnosis can be easily overlooked since most doctors don't think to ask about feather bedding. Diagnosing feather duvet lung early can prevent permanent scarring of the lung tissue.

Doctors suggest replacing your down bedding with an alternative option, like this allergy-friendly comforter or this feather-free eucalyptus bedding. The condition can also be treated with steroids, which reduces inflammation.

We know sleep is crucial to our overall well-being, and as such, perhaps next time you crawl into bed, consider what it's made of. After all, you do spend eight hours (hopefully) in there.

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