There is a stereotype that down pillows are the key to good sleep, and therefore excellent health. Indeed, bird feathers and fluff perfectly retain heat, as well as pass air well, are lightweight and have pleasant tactile sensations. However, in fact, down pillows are unhealthy. They can cause allergies, provoke asthma and even the appearance of tumors in the organs of the respiratory system.
Interestingly, the first down pillows appeared in ancient Rome, writes Clever. And in Europe, they were considered a luxury until the outbreak of the First World War: ordinary peasants could not afford to sleep on the gentle swan fluff. The dangers of feather and down pillows have been discussed relatively recently: in the century before last.
German doctor Otto Steiner published the book "Bed", which has become a real bestseller. Steiner said that more than ten types of parasitic microorganisms live in pillows. They feed on the remains of meat and fat of birds remaining on the feathers after they are pulled out, as well as down. The doctor also recalled that down pillows perfectly absorb and retain moisture. And moisture is a life-giving medium for a number of insects.
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First of all, this is a real paradise for bed (or dust) ticks. Their feces can contribute to the development of a serious allergic reaction and trigger an asthma attack. This is a study by the Singapore-based NUS-SMART (Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology).
According to researchers, one in five is prone to dust mite allergies. The primary symptoms of an allergic reaction to insects are eczema and shortness of breath, coughing, runny nose, and redness of the eyes. If you find yourself with the first signs of malaise, you should immediately consult a doctor, as well as get rid of down pillows.
In addition to ticks, fungus grows into fluff, warns Professor Ashley Woodcock of the University of Manchester. In 2005, she and her colleagues conducted a study and came to the conclusion that down pillows are a real mini-zoo containing millions of different fungal spores. “We know that pillows are populated by a dust mite that feeds on mushrooms, but the fact is that mushrooms, in turn, feed on tick feces along with exfoliated pieces of human skin,” Woodcock explained in an interview with ZDNet.
According to her, the most common spores of the genus Aspergillus, which provoke the development of aspergillosis. This concept means a whole range of diseases, the most dangerous of which are aspergillosis mycetoma (that is, a tumor in the lungs or sinuses) and aspergilloma of the paranasal sinuses, coupled with mucosal necrosis and regular nosebleeds.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money and nerves on expensive treatment, remember: the term of “life” of even the most high-quality and expensive down pillow is a maximum of five years. After that, you need to ruthlessly get rid of it. And the best thing is not to risk your health and switch to synthetic fluff substitutes. In the end, in our days, bird fluff is no longer an attribute of luxurious life and is not the only high-quality filler for pillows.