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What is tracheitis? Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

The tracheitis means an inflammation of the lining of the trachea . The trachea is an organ that is part of the respiratory system. Having the appearance of a tube a few centimeters long, it starts at the level of the larynx and goes down to the bronchi. Its main role is to convey the air that enters through the mouth to the lungs. It happens that the trachea swells slightly, it is called tracheitis. Although embarrassing, it is a benign pathology that usually causes no complications. The treatment to follow depends on the underlying cause.

Image result for tracheitis


The trachea is an organ that plays an important role in breathing. Indeed, it leads the outside air to the bronchi. Yet the trachea is a quiet worker, so much so that one might wonder if it really exists. Until the moment when its wall is the victim of an inflammation. Tracheitis can be a concern for the patient because he feels an uncomfortable sensation, a pain that makes him cough, prevents him from sleeping and breathing properly. There are two types of tracheitis: acute tracheitis (transient inflammation that can be cured within a few days or weeks) and chronic tracheitis (inflammation that lasts in time, longer to treat).


Tracheitis can be caused by an ENT infection of viral origin such as bronchitis , laryngitis , pharyngitis or rhinopharyngitis (colds). More rarely, the infection responsible for tracheitis can be caused by bacteria.

Other causes are likely to cause tracheitis, including an allergy due for example to pollen(especially in spring), inhalation of chlorine vapors , cigarette smoke , dust or other harmful substances, urban pollution …

What are the symptoms of tracheitis?

  • Dry and spasmodic cough ( coughing fits ). Coughing fits occur mainly when the subject changes position or when lying down
  • Pain caused by chest contraction
  • Rhinorrhea (runny nose)
  • In case of superinfection, sputum of yellow or greenish discoloration
  • Sleeping troubles
  • Sometimes fever (if the inflammation is of viral origin)
  • Sometimes hoarseness and dysphonia (difficulty speaking) if tracheitis is associated with laryngitis

Image result for tracheitis

What treatments for tracheitis?

Tracheitis is a benign disease that often progresses spontaneously to healing between two and four weeks (acute tracheitis). The administration of an antitussive (syrup) helps to soothe cough and chest pain. Smokers must refrain from consuming tobacco until complete cure, or even permanently. Keep away from all substances that may cause or aggravate inflammation (passive smoking, urban pollution, dust, toxic fumes). People who are exposed to one of these substances in their workplace will have to take the necessary measures to protect themselves ( wearing a mask). A wetter room and an enhanced pillow will relieve symptoms during the night.

In case of chronic tracheitis, it will first be necessary to identify the cause responsible ( tuberculosis , syphilis , trauma, compression of the trachea secondary to a tumor) in order to be able to treat it.

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