Aspergillosis is an infection caused by a specific type of mold known as aspergillus, which is present both indoors and outdoors. While many strains of this mold are harmless, certain varieties can lead to significant health issues, primarily affecting the respiratory system. The severity and symptoms of illnesses resulting from aspergillosis infection can vary widely.
The mold called aspergillus that can cause illnesses is found all around us – both inside our buildings and outside. While most forms of this mold aren’t dangerous, a couple of them can lead to serious sickness, especially for people with weaker immune systems, existing lung issues, or asthma, when they breathe in the mold’s tiny seeds.
There are different types of aspergillosis:
Treatment for aspergillosis may involve observation, the use of antifungal medications, or, in rare cases, surgical intervention. The approach varies depending on the specific type of infection.
The signs and symptoms of these illnesses depend on the specific form of aspergillosis a person develops.
Allergic Reaction (Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis):
Aspergilloma: Aspergillomas might initially be asymptomatic or lead to only a mild cough. Progression can lead to:
Aspergilloma: Aspergillomas might initially be asymptomatic or lead to only a mild cough. If left untreated, progression can lead to:
Invasive Aspergillosis: Occurs in weakened immune systems Symptoms depend on affected organs:
Other Types of Aspergillosis: Impact beyond lungs, especially sinuses. Symptoms include:
If you have asthma or cystic fibrosis and you notice a change in your breathing, it’s important to see your doctor. Even though the cause might not be aspergillosis, getting your breathing problems checked is necessary.
If your immune system is weak and you suddenly have a fever, trouble breathing, or cough with blood, seek medical help right away. For invasive aspergillosis, quick treatment is very important. Sometimes, doctors start antifungal medicine when they suspect aspergillosis, even before confirming it with tests.
Aspergillosis, caused by various Aspergillus fungi, with A. fumigatus being the most common, typically affects individuals with weakened immune systems or chronic lung issues. While Aspergillus is present in the environment and commonly inhaled, healthy immune systems usually fend off the fungus. Nonetheless, those with compromised immunity are vulnerable as the mold can colonize the lungs and potentially spread to other body parts. Although widespread in nature, aspergillosis isn’t contagious among individuals.
Factors that increase the susceptibility to aspergillosis include:
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