How to Determine if You're Allergic to Down

Is your bedding making you sick? Read on to find out.

If you have what feels like a never-ending cold, (think: congestion, sneezing, runny nose, and coughing), your favorite feather pillow might be to blame. A down allergy can create itchy or puffy eyes -- sometimes even a rash. Read on to determine if you are allergic.

First, perform a trial-and-error experiment on yourself. Remove all sources of down (pillows, blankets, comforter, and so on) for six weeks and pay attention to any changes in how you feel during that time. If your symptoms disappear, you're probably allergic.

Still not willing to give up your fluffy friend? Try covering all of your down items with special, allergy-blocking slipcovers. But be warned -- this method is not 100 percent effective, so you may not notice a change. Need a definitive answer? See an allergist and request multiple allergy tests, including down.

Special thanks to Dr. Roberta Lee, integrative medicines specialist and author of The SuperStress Solution.