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Thursday, May 23, 2013
I have always thought I am allergic to down and feathers. I have reacted to beds with down comforters and sofas with down pillows. But recently I came across a sofa that says it is filled with "sterilized down". Could this sterilization process have removed the allergens from the down so that I am no longer allergic? I have read that it is not the down itself that people are allergic to but the dust and pollen trapped in the down. Is this true? Could sterilized down solve my allergy issue?
I know nothing about sterilized down. It is known that intense heating of some allergens denatures the protein and makes them less allergenic. I don't know if this the case with the sterilized down you bought or not. If you are concerned put protective pillow encasements over them that will prevent the down allergen and dust mites from permeating through.
Jonathan Bernstein, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati