Sunday, July 9, 2023

Aspergillosis: When mold makes you sick

 Aspergillosis is a fungal infection caused by a type of mold called Aspergillus. Aspergillus is a common mold that is found in the environment, but it can only cause infection in people who have a weakened immune system.

There are several factors that can lead to an infection with Aspergillus, including:

  • Being exposed to Aspergillus spores: Aspergillus spores are found in the air, so people can be exposed to them by breathing in the air.
  • Having a weakened immune system: People with a weakened immune system are more likely to get an Aspergillus infection. This includes people with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or who are taking immunosuppressive drugs.
  • Having a lung disease: People with lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis or COPD, are also more likely to get an Aspergillus infection.

The symptoms of aspergillosis can vary depending on the type of infection. Some common symptoms include:

  • Cough: A cough that may produce mucus or blood.
  • Chest pain: Chest pain that may be worse when breathing deeply.
  • Fever: Fever that may be accompanied by chills.
  • Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath that may worsen with activity.
  • Weight loss: Unexplained weight loss.

If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor to get a diagnosis. Aspergillosis can be a serious infection, so it is important to get treatment as soon as possible.

The doctor will diagnose aspergillosis based on your symptoms, medical history, and a physical exam. They may also order tests, such as a chest X-ray, CT scan, or blood test, to confirm the diagnosis.

The treatment for aspergillosis depends on the type of infection and the severity of the symptoms. In some cases, treatment may involve taking antifungal medications. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the infected tissue.

There is no way to completely prevent aspergillosis, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of getting infected. These include:

  • Avoiding areas where Aspergillus spores are likely to be found: This includes places where there is mold growth, such as damp basements or attics.
  • Taking steps to control mold growth in your home: This includes using a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels and cleaning up any mold growth that you see.
  • Taking care of your health: This includes eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep.

If you have any questions or concerns about aspergillosis, please talk to your doctor.

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