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We did an informal poll and found that many people own a comfort pillow (or bolster, or blanket) that has been with them since they were children. This is often affectionately known as their “chou chou” (Mandarin, translated to “smelly”) or bantal busuk (Malay, smelly pillow).

Many we spoke to also say that they avoid washing their “chou chou” because they want to retain the familiar, comforting smell that it comes with.

For those of you who don’t own a “chou chou”, you may already be gagging. And if you’ve been wanting to encourage someone to wean off their comfort pillow, maybe this real story that happened in China would be a good one to share.

Xu, a woman from Hubei, China had suffered from red and itchy eyes for the past two years. But instead of seeing a doctor, she had been using eye drops to relieve the discomfort.

It was only until her symptoms worsened that she was sent to the hospital for treatment. By then, her eyes had become dry and started producing discharge, causing her eyelashes to stick together.

After medical consultation, doctors found that there were over a hundred mites living in her eyelashes, with more than 10 found in a single eyelash follicle. Xu was diagnosed with conjunctivitis and blepharitis, caused by a bacteria infection from the discharge of these mites.

The suspect for causing this ailment? Her pillow.

Xu’s doctor believed that it could be a result of poor personal hygiene, as she had reportedly not changed her pillow case for five years.

Xu made a full recovery after receiving medical treatment.

Featured image from Hype & Stuff.