What Is Histoplasmosis?
Histoplasmosis is a disease caused when airborne spores of the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum are inhaled into the lungs. This microscopic fungus, sometimes called histo for short, is released into the air when soil is disturbed by plowing fields, sweeping chicken coops, or digging holes.
Histoplasmosis initially is a lung infection. However, it is believed that the infection, even if mild, can later migrate to the eye through the blood stream and cause a serious eye disease called ocular histoplasmosis syndrome (OHS). OHS is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans ages 20 to 40.