WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Feather comforter could make you really comfortable in bed but it could also make you really, really sick.
- Published Tuesday in the journal BMJ Case Reports, a new study gives an idea on what it’s like to have a potentially debilitating condition called “feather duvet lung.”
- In 2016, a 43-year-old man complaining of chronic malaise, fatigue and breathlessness was diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis or feather duvet lung — an allergic reaction to the organic dust from the duck or goose feathers used in bedding.
On Tuesday, a new study published in the journal BMJ Case Reports focuses on what it’s like to have a potentially debilitating condition called “feather duvet lung.”
In November 2016, a 43-year-old man who was suffering from chronic malaise, fatigue and breathlessness, which he’d been experiencing for about three months, was diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis, or feather duvet lung — an allergic reaction to the organic dust from the duck or goose feathers used in bedding.
The initial diagnosis was lower respiratory tract infection. When his symptoms worsened, doctors were left dumbfounded. The man is not a smoker and in generally good health. With his worsening condition, he needed to take 14 days off work, most of which he spent sleeping.
According to the report, he said his “rapid decline” and lack of proper diagnosis was “extremely distressing. I was unable to stand or walk for more than a few minutes at a time without feeling like I was going to pass out.”
His symptoms came to worst by December. Simply walking between rooms in his home caused him to be breathless, yet a chest radiograph came back normal. According to reports, additional testing found avian antibodies in his blood, even though he did not own pet birds. What he had was new bedding: a feather duvet and pillows.
The man was given a course of steroids and had him dispose the feather bedding. Relief came to him almost instantly.
“His symptoms improved rapidly within the first month. By [six] months, he felt completely well,” the report says.
The study warns that if the condition is not diagnosed and there is repeated exposure to feathers in bedding, it “may result in irreversible lung fibrosis.”
Unfortunately, the condition is often not identified as healthcare professionals usually don’t ask patients about the type of bedding they use.
“This is an important omission since the use of feather, rather than synthetic, bedding is common,” write the study authors, noting that 7.6 million duvets were sold in the UK in the first four months of 2015 alone.
Source: New York Post