Candida is a fungus that is opportunistic and can cause illness throughout the body. In patients with compromised immune systems, such as patients with AIDS or cancers, Candida may overgrow and begin to invade tissue. When Candida invades lung tissue, fungal pneumonia may result. A Candida infection in the lungs is rare but serious.
Elevated body temperature may be the earliest indication of a Candida overgrowth in the lungs. For patients with compromised immune systems, fever is the first symptom present. Fever is an important indicator of fungal overgrowth if the fever has not responded to antibiotic treatment. Fever may occur in conjunction with chills.
Patients with an overgrowth of Candida in the lungs typically experience a persistent cough. The cough is usually not productive, meaning that mucous is not expelled during the cough. Candida overgrowth causes inflammation in the lung tissue, resulting in a cough.
Shortness of Breath
As the Candida invades lung tissue, it inhibits the function of lung cells, causing shortness of breath. As the infection progresses into fungal pneumonia, shortness of breath becomes worse. Shortness of breath may also be referred to as dyspnea.
Pain and Discomfort
Patients with advanced fungal lung infections may experience chest pain when breathing, or a general discomfort or a dull feeling radiating from the chest. The pain and discomfort may become worse as the infection grows.
If Candida has invaded the lungs, resulting in infection, it may be present in other areas of the body. The patient may have white lesions in the mouth, throat and on the skin that are indicative of a Candida overgrowth. A burning, sore throat and difficult swallowing are signs that the infection has spread to the throat and oesophagus.