Man left unable to work after duvet makes him seriously ill and doctors warn of their danger

20 November 2019, 15:37

Martin's lungs were severely affected by his duvet
Martin's lungs were severely affected by his duvet. Picture: Getty

Medical professionals have warned others that something as simple as your duvet could be an incredible threat to your health.

A man was left unable to work after his feather duvet triggered a lung illness and caused him to suffer from breathlessness and dizzy spells.

Martin Taylor felt the effects over the space of a few months, and initially his doctors had no idea what was causing him to feel out of breath as he'd always been a healthy man.

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Martin had problems with his lungs that stopped him from working
Martin had problems with his lungs that stopped him from working. Picture: Getty

The Scot started experiencing dizzy spells towards the end of 2016 and went to his doctor about it in November, but two months down the line still had no diagnosis as the condition got worse.

His health continued to deteriorate over a few weeks and the 43-year-old got to the point where he couldn't stand for longer than a few minutes and struggled to climb stairs as he needed to sit down after every few steps.

After being referred to a different medical professional, Dr Owen Dempsey, who is an expert in respiratory medicine at Victoria Hospital, Kirkaldy and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, he finally saw some progress in his diagnosis.

It was found that Martin suffered from hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which is a severe allergic reaction in his lungs - and that reaction was all down to his duvet!

The tests came back and revealed he was reacting to dust found in bird feathers, and although doctors and Martin were confused at first as Martin only had a cat and a dog as pets - not a bird - they realised upon further investigation that it was down to his new duvet.

He had recently switched from a synthetic to a feather bedding, and that's when the symptoms started.

For some, a duvet - which is usually a source of comfort - could affect their health
For some, a duvet - which is usually a source of comfort - could affect their health. Picture: PA

As soon as it was figured out, doctors put Martin on steroids and he switched his bedding back to synthetic - and the symptoms stopped and his breathing started to improve again.

12 months on, Martin could stop using the steroids and revealed "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 have warned others to be aware of the condition
Doctors have warned others to be aware of the condition. Picture: Getty

His particular condition is often referred to as 'feather duvet lung', and the professionals who treated Martin are warning others to be on the lookout for this condition.

Writing in a study published in the BMJ, they said that it’s important to ask about bedding if a patient has unexplained breathlessness as recognising the condition quickly could prevent irreversible scarring in the lung.

If you have changed your duvet and find that you aren’t reacting well, speak to your doctor and consider switching to another type.