Candida is a type of yeast that sometimes causes fungal infections in humans. Healthy people typically have low levels of Candida living in their bodies, and the fungi only starts growing out of control when a person's immune system becomes compromised for some reason--such as by HIV/AIDS or radiation therapy to treat cancer, explains the Oral Cancer Foundation. Candida can cause problems in many different parts of the body, including the mouth, vagina or, in rare cases, the lungs.
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When Candida infects the lungs, it can cause pneumonia, resulting in several different symptoms. A fever is often one of the first symptoms. When a fever does not respond to antibiotics, it can be a sign to doctors that the infection is caused by Candida, explains PneumoniaSymptoms.org. Coughing that does not produce mucus; difficulty breathing, also called dyspnea; or abnormally fast breathing, known as tachypnea, are additional frequent symptoms of Candida pneumonia. Chest pain, especially in the center of the chest underneath the sternum, is another symptom, DoctorFungus.org says.
Allergic Bronchial Asthma, Allergic Bronchopulmonary Mycosis
In patients with advanced candida pneumonia, more severe symptoms can develop. Allergic bronchial asthma and allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis are two conditions resulting in chronic damage to the lungs. In some cases, breathing may become so difficult that complete respiratory failure results, according to PneumoniaSymptoms.org.
Interstitial Lung Disease
In rare cases, Candida infection can cause interstitial lung disease, reports a study published in the February 2001 issue of the European Journal of Medical Research. Interstitial lung disease causes progressive scarring of the tissues lining the insides of the lungs. Symptoms are often similar to the symptoms of pneumonia, including difficulty breathing; wheezing; a dry, unproductive cough; and chest pain. Interstitial lung disease may also cause clubbing of the fingernails, which results when the fingernails curve around the tips of the fingers, the Mayo Clinic says.
- Oral Cancer Foundation: Candida
- PneumoniaSymptoms.org: Fungal Pnemonia Symptoms
- DoctorFungus.org: Candida Pneumonia
- "European Journal of Medical Research"; Interstitial Lung Disease Induced by Endogenous Candida Albicans; J. Schreiber et al, February 2001
- MayoClinic.com: Interstitial Lung Disease - Symptoms