I remember reading this quite a while ago. Seeing children suffer, particularly one's own I imagine (I have none).

I suffered from allergies from an early age, 'though I was unaware any could be life threatening until I was 41 years old. In childhood, I had asthma following whooping cough (pertussis) aged 8 months; eczyma too. Unlike my brother, whose asthma was sudden intense attacks, I would be ill for three weeks at a time. I lost a lot of school.

Aged 9 our family moved to wooded hills. Asthma became much worse. Aged 14 I had the prick tests to which you refer. I was allergic to typical things: animal furs, hairs & danders; grass pollens. Low dose exposure injections seemed to help, but reaching physical maturity probably did too. Asthma became rare after about age 18.

Then in my early 40s two events nearly took my life. My sinuses were blocked for 5 months, requiring radical ethmoidectome (meaning they chisel away the nasal turbinates in the ethmoid sinuses). This is dangerous because the bone between there & the brain is thinner than eggshell. The blockage was caused by a fungal infestation which later proved to be aspergillum. It would soon have penetrated the bone anyway; game over.

Then my lungs filled with this fungus. My weight fell to 42kg (a 41 year old male) & a specialist finally diagnosed my condition correctly: aspergillosis. This is uncommon but not extremely rare. Colonisation of the lung cavity is called aspergilloma & can be fatal.

My respiratory specialist resorted to a then new drug: iso-conazole (precursor of the now common anti-funal conazoles found in vaginal creams etc.). It destroyed my teeth & seems to have hurt my kidneys too, but it stopped the aspergillum.

I now recognise & manage signs of aspergillosis. (You cough up lumps of chewy stuff, dry inside & coated in mucus, or snort it out of your sinuses into a tissue.) Oddly, pumping lots of air through my lungs by walking 40km or so per week works best. My doctor says I will end attached to an oxygen bottle. Maybe.

Our life in the leafy hills, among all that mouldering leaf litter, exposed me to far more aspergillum than life in the suburbs, but no-one knew the consequence then.

Anyway, I hope my allergy story might interest you. If you think it might help other potential sufferers, feel free to use it.



Australian male born 1952, Adelaide. Anti-religious, socialist. Walk, think, inquire, learn; share ideas, music & pleasure.

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