Reed instruments, such as the clarinet and saxophone, can be detrimental to your health if not properly cleaned. In a study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Baltimore, Nov. 7-11, researchers noted that musicians can develop allergic pulmonary disease to specific funguses that collect over time in the instrument's reed. The rare disease, known as Saxophone Lung, can be misdiagnosed due to the persistent cough and wheezing and association with mold allergy. Researchers note it is imperative to properly diagnose Saxophone Lung since treatment with corticosteroids alone is not enough. If the mold is not removed from the instrument, the symptoms will continue.
Title: Malady of the Melodies
Lead Author: Marissa Shams, MD, ACAAI member