Down Feather Allergies
Down Feather Allergies Are Rare
For the hundreds of thousands of people who enjoy sleeping under a down comforter learning that down feather allergies are rare is very good news. It is possible to develop an allergy to down feathers, however. Down is derived from the fine layer of feathers which are found under the thicker, much tougher layer of exterior feathers of geese and ducks. It is used as a thermal insulator in jackets, comforters and pillows. The feathers themselves have very few allergens which can cause an allergy in a human.
In cases where people suspect they have down feather allergies, they are usually dealing with a form of cross-reactivity. People who have sensitivity to other kinds of feathers will often react to goose down. People who are sleeping on down pillows are often found to have an allergy to dust mites living in their pillow rather than the down in the pillow.
There are several different symptoms which present when people are dealing with an allergy to down feathers. These are:
· Allergic rhinitis
This is more commonly referred to as a runny nose or simply called postnasal drip. A person who has any kind of allergy to an airborne allergen will usually develop this symptom first. The discharge which comes from the nose is usually watery and clear. In some cases, the discharge can be excessive and cause significant irritation in the throat.
Sneezing is also a very common symptom experienced when people have an allergic reaction of any kind. It is usually brought on by a nose that is congested, irritated and running. When a person with allergies sneezes many times, it is their body’s way of trying to clear some kind of offending substance from the nasal passages.
· Watery, Itchy Eyes
Nearly every person who reacts to any kind of airborne allergen will develop this symptom. This symptom is largely caused by large amounts of histamine which are being released into the body as it detects the allergen.
What can I do if I think I have an allergy to down feathers?
As for anyone who thinks they have an allergy, the first thing to do is pay a visit to your physician. Your doctor will probably want to run tests to try to determine what you are allergic to because of the rareness of allergies to down feathers. In the meantime, you can use a hypoallergenic pillow and some all natural bed linens. There are special bed covers available which will keep your bed linens from becoming infested with dust mites again. Using an over-the-counter antihistamine will also give you a fair bit of relief.
Suffering with any kind of allergy can be a dreadful experience. They make you feel tired and under the weather. Sometimes there are specific things a person can do to avoid their exposure to the thing they are allergic to. If you think that you’re being kept awake night after night tossing and turning because of your allergy to the down feathers in your pillow, the first step to take is to replace the pillows. If that is not enough, consider replacing your down comforter with one made of synthetic down or even cotton.
Most people with allergies have seasonal allergies. These tend to worsen in the summer or springtime. But down feather allergies will be with you year round if your pillows contain down feathers. If you suspect that your allergy symptoms are being caused by down feathers, the first step is to eliminate them from your living space. It is reasonably easy to avoid down filled comforters because they are fairly expensive.