Saxophone lung? Chances are that you’ve never heard of it. Saxophone Lung is a relatively rare condition caused by bacteria and mold build up inside a wind instrument.
An article in the Huffpost, for example, details a man who, never having cleaned his saxophone for over 30 years, developed a persistent cough and wheezing that wouldn’t clear up, even after being given steroids.
Though this example is somewhat extreme (really?!?! 30 years playing an instrument that you spit in every time you play it and you don’t ever clean it? Yuk!) similar cases have been documented.
Basic lesson here is if you’re going to play a wind instrument clean it with alcohol regularly to control bacteria and mold build up.