New Bedding Caused Serious Illness In Man

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New Bedding Caused Serious Illness In Man
New Bedding Caused Serious Illness In Man
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New bedding caused serious illness in man

A simple change of bedding brought recovery from a serious illness to a British resident. The symptoms that had plagued him for months turned out to be a rare form of allergy to feathers from his blanket.

New bedding caused serious illness in man
New bedding caused serious illness in man

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A simple change of bedding brought recovery from a serious illness to a British resident. The symptoms that had plagued him for months turned out to be a rare form of allergy to feathers from his blanket. This clinical case was described in BMJ Case Reports.

A 43-year-old man consulted a doctor for weakness, dizziness and severe shortness of breath in November 2016. At first, doctors assumed he had bronchitis or pneumonia, and the start of treatment coincided with symptom relief. But in December, the patient again became worse: without shortness of breath, he could not even walk to the next room. His attending physician referred him to a specialized emergency department and consulted Owen Dempsey, a pulmonologist at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Hospital, who co-authored the article in BMJ Case Reports.

Dr. Dempsey spoke to the patient on the phone, trying to identify every potential cause of the disease. As soon as the patient said that he had recently changed the bedding and got feather pillows and blankets, the doctor immediately made a preliminary diagnosis, which was later confirmed by research: exogenous allergic alveolitis or allergic pneumonitis.

In this form, the disease more often affects people who work on poultry farms. Doctors have a special term for this condition - "poultry farmer's lung." But if a person gets sick after coming into contact with feather bedding, it is called "feather bed light."

During the first conversation, Dempsey immediately gave the patient a recommendation to replace the feather bedding with synthetic. The patient began to recover within a few days. Subsequent steroid treatment probably contributed to this, but doctors are not sure if they played a decisive role. One year after treatment, the patient did not show any complaints from the respiratory system.

“Physicians are usually taught to ask patients with respiratory symptoms if they have animals in their homes, such as birds. But as the authors' experience shows, the questioning usually does not extend to finding out whether a person uses feather pillows and blankets,”the scientists write.

Dempsey told the Guardian that allergic pneumonitis appears to be a rare disease, but many cases may simply be undiagnosed. “I suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg. I think we just don't know about the effects of many substances, so we just ignore them,”he said.

Allergic pneumonitis develops as a result of an allergic reaction provoked by external irritants: in addition to feathers, it can be smoke, mold, dust, and various chemicals. This reaction is different from a common food or skin allergy. It is assumed that it is not class E immunoglobulins, but other antibodies, including class M immunoglobulins, that are responsible for it. Their production takes longer, so the disease does not manifest itself immediately after exposure to an irritant.

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