Question: Three years ago I started having bad congestion after cleaning out a moldy house where hoarders lived. I have been to four specialists, had numerous tests, and they say they don't know what might be causing the problem, which won’t go away. I do not smoke or drink and I eat very healthy. Could my problems be caused by a fungal infection?
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Yes, it is possible, though not highly probable unless you have an immune-system disorder. Doing work in moldy homes without protection is unwise. It could be the subject of a worker's comp claim if you were employed to do this.
It sounds like you were exposed to fungal spores, and if your work placed you at risk for exposure, your doctor needs to take this into consideration in prescribing treatment. Fungal exposure usually generates allergy-type symptoms triggered by exposure. Infection of your sinuses is unusual unless you are immune suppressed, or you had repeated exposure to fungal spores or possibly even TB spores.
Consider consulting a pulmonary or ear, nose, and throat specialist, and also ask your primary care physician whether an immunology/allergy consultation is in order. Then, if testing does not indicate allergy, consider consulting a tertiary referral center or teaching hospital close to where you live.
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