Can Musical Instruments Kill?admin
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is nothing new. Albeit rare, this immune system disorder affects the lungs and occurs in some sufferers after they breathe in certain substances which trigger their immune systems, causing short- or long-term inflammation, especially in a part of the lungs called the interstitium, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Sometimes referred to as “bird fancier’s lung”, researchers are now adding a new moniker to this disease’s list: “bagpipe lung”.
A 61-year-old British Highland music enthusist had been diagnosed with hypersensitivy pneumonitis in 2009, but it wasn’t discovered until after his death in 2014 that this condition had been caused by the mold and fungi “lurking inside his bagpipes” IFLScience.com reported.
The initial diagnosis had confused doctors since he didn’t spend much time around birds (a common cause of the disease), didn’t smoke, and lived in a well-kept house that was free of mold and fungus. In spite of this, his symptoms worsened and he eventually died.
The only respite from his symptoms occurred during a three-month trip to Australia when he left his bagpipes at home. He recovered much of his lung capacity and ability to walk without needing to stop. Once he returned to Britain and began playing his bagpipe however, his symptoms returned and continued to worsen.
Scientists then decided to inspect his instrument and discovered colonies of various species of fungi in the neck and bag of the bagpipes.
As a result, “the study authors advise all wind instrument players to clean their apparatus regularly and allow them to drip dry, as any moisture remaining inside these instruments could provide an ideal environment for yeasts, molds, and fungi to flourish.”
Read the official paper in Thorax.