Bedding for Asthmatics

February 8, 2012

Asthma can be triggered by a number of factors. The most common of which are dust mites and fungal cells which are mostly found in the bedroom. Thus, choosing the right bedding for asthma patients is important.

Dust mites thrive on beddings because it is where we shed our skin. And because dust mites feed on dead skin, they tend to linger on our mattress as they wait for their next meal. Microporous covers should be used for mattresses and pillows; they will put a halt to these dropping while still allowing good flow of air and moisture. In using bunk beds, make sure that children with asthma are not placed at the bottom bunk. Any movement from the top bunk will disturb the dust mites and consequently make them airborne. Asthmatic children at the bottom will be the recipient of these dust mites.

Feather BeddingResearchers from the Otago University said that a feather pillow or an eiderdown duvet is more beneficial for asthmatics rather than a synthetic one. Man-made fillings for beddings are also safer because these can be washed regularly at a high temperature.

Another research from Wellington revealed that feather bedding is more conducive to asthma patients because fungal cells are lesser in this type of bedding. This research has been published recently in the Journal of Asthma, showing that more fungi-related beta glucan is found in synthetic bedding.

Beta glucans are part of the fungi’s cell walls. According to the study, beta glucans are pro-inflammatory and are usually involved in lung function changes. Results showed that synthetic pillows are two to three times higher in beta glucan levels compared to feather pillows. Beta glucan levels in duvets were higher, too.  Synthetic duvets are seven to eight times higher in beta glucan than feather duvets. Moreover, supporting studies from different countries also proved that asthma symptoms are triggered more by synthetic bedding than feather bedding.

Choosing the right bedding for asthma patients will help lessen the symptoms of asthma, which should in turn prevent asthma attacks. Exposure to dust mites and fungi-related cells can alleviate asthma symptoms if it remains unchecked. Being diligent in making sure that one’s house is free from these allergens will greatly help asthmatics.