Man Diagnosed With Dangerous 'Feather Duvet Lung' Caused By Bedding

Amelia Ward

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

At this time of year, all you want to do is stay at home curled up in a nice, thick, feather duvet - but doctors have warned that it could be damaging to your health after a man developed a sudden, severe reaction to his new bedding.

Martin Taylor was suffering with breathlessness, fatigue and couldn't work within a few months. Although he'd previously been healthy, doctors had no idea what caused the problems he was having.

The 43-year-old then suddenly started to experience dizzy spells in 2016 and in the November, went to his doctor.

Scans show inflammation in his lungs. Credit: BMJ

Two months passed and he still didn't have a diagnosis but his condition was getting worse. It got to the point where he was unable to stand up for more than a few minutes and it would take him half an hour to get up the stairs as he had to sit down and catch his breath after every few steps.

He saw a lung expert at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and was diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis - a severe allergic reaction in respiratory system.

Test results eventually revealed that he was having a reaction to dust from bird feathers - even though he only had a cat and a dog in the house.

After investigating further, they finally realised that the cause was his new feather duvet, which he'd switched from a synthetic one just before his symptoms started.

He started taking steroids and also switched his bedding - and his breathing started to improve. After a year he was able to stop taking medication.

Credit: BMJ

He said that within two days, the steroids had a 'transformative effect' on his breathing.

In his patient report, he said: "At the same time, having assumed that a possible cause of the allergy was feather bedding, I replaced them with hypoallergenic bedding. The course of steroids continued ultimately for 12 months, with a gradual reduction in dose over time. I have thankfully been able to stop them completely.

"My oxygen saturation level nowadays is regularly 97%-98% which I understand to be normal for someone my age, and I have not had any dizzy turns since recovering. It doesn't affect me at all now and my life is pretty much as it was before."

Doctors named the condition 'feather duvet lung' and wanted other medics to be on the lookout for it.

A study published in the BMJ recommends that medical professionals ask patients about their bedding as it could prevent permanent scarring in the lungs.

Topics: uk news, Health

Amelia Ward

Amelia is a journalist at LADbible. After studying journalism at Liverpool John Moores and Salford Uni (don't ask), she went into PR and then the world of music. After a few years working on festivals and events, she went back to her roots. In her spare time, Amelia likes music, Liverpool FC, and spending good, quality time with her cat, Paul. You can contact Amelia at
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