Tracheitis symptoms

Tracheitis symptoms are a combination of factors and clinical manifestations of the disease, based on which the doctor can diagnose this pathology and by means of which it is possible to judge the typicality of the course of the disease and prescribe an effective therapy.

The trachea is the organ that connects the larynx to the bronchi. Bacteria and viruses in the respiratory tract often cause inflammation in the trachea, which leads to the occurrence of tracheitis. The symptomatology of this pathology has much in common with laryngitis, bronchitis, however, it is transferred and eliminated much easier with timely and qualified treatment.

Often the only manifestation of tracheitis can be a dry, suffocating cough that occurs in patients in the morning or at night. In parallel with the cough, there is usually a sore throat, there is discomfort in the chest area. The remaining symptoms of this pathology depend on the type of disease and the causes that cause it.

First signs

Tracheitis usually begins in a similar scenario with acute respiratory infections. First, the patient has a runny nose and dry cough. A person may complain of weakness, sore throat, pain in the head. Hyperthermia up to 38-39 degrees can hold up to 3 days, but sometimes it can not rise at all or rise to subfebrile marks of 37.5-38.0.

In young children at the beginning of the development of tracheitis in the morning there may be heard wheezing at a distance. Such wheezing usually passes after the patient has cleared his throat. Dyspnea with tracheitis, as a rule, does not occur.

Main symptoms

Cough with tracheitis

The main manifestation of the inflammatory process in the tracheal zone is a dry cough. It is often very difficult for patients, since it is paroxysmal, more often at night or in the morning, and it is a hacking character.

Cough with tracheitis occurs with laughter, and when the ambient temperature changes, and with a deep breath. In this case, expectoration with such a cough is practically not observed, but in the process of cough, the retrosternal zone and the pharynx region begin to hurt. At the level of the reflex, patients begin to reduce respiratory activity, which leads to shallow and rapid breathing. The main therapeutic goal of the first days of tracheitis is to soften the mucous membrane and eliminate its irritation in order to calm down the cough.

After 3-4 days of illness, the viscosity of the sputum decreases, it begins to withdraw more freely, the painfulness during coughing episodes decreases. If the tracheitis does not touch the bronchi and lungs, then the inflammation most often disappears on its own in 1-2 weeks.

When acute tracheitis becomes chronic, coughing becomes very painful at night and in the morning, and the sputum separates well, but this process is accompanied by chest pain. If the pathology does not pass for a long time, then it is fraught with the occurrence of exacerbations and associated complications and pathologies. The fit of coughing with tracheitis is very difficult to confuse with other diseases with similar symptoms. Even shallow breathing tells the doctors about the presence of the disease in question, but after examining the patient, the specialists are convinced of the diagnosis of the characteristic changes that the tracheal mucosa underwent if tracheoscopy or laryngoscopy was performed.

Fever as a symptom

Depending on the severity and stage of the disease, hyperthermia can be expressed in different ways. When tracheitis is allocated 4 degrees of fever, each of which has its own signs:

  • low-grade - up to 37 degrees;
  • febrile - 37-39 degrees;
  • pyretic - 39-41 degrees;
  • hyperpyretic - more than 41 degrees.

When subfebrile fever in a patient with tracheitis present discomfort, like a slight increase in body temperature, many people do not even notice. With febrile fever, its manifestations are strong, patients suffer from thirst, fever, weakness. If pyretic fever occurs, this is evidence of the spread of the inflammatory process in the body, which may be accompanied by cramps, decreased appetite, severe sweating and arrhythmia. In this case, shows the mandatory use of antipyretic drugs.

In hyperpyretic fever, all the above symptoms are aggravated, which are complicated by dehydration.

In brain tissues, metabolic processes are disturbed, which without proper measures can lead to death. Also, pyretic and hyperpyretic fever may be accompanied by hallucinations. In this case, it is impossible to postpone the start of therapy in any way, it is important to promptly seek medical help.


In the acute form of tracheitis, the mucous membrane of the pharynx undergoes morphological changes, manifested in redness of the pharynx, severe puffiness, and sometimes in point hematomas.

If tracheitis develops comorbidities, such as laryngitis, pharyngitis, patients begin to suffer from tingling, burning, tickling, nasopharyngeal dryness and other unpleasant symptoms in this area.

Symptoms of the disease

Chronic form

Chronic form of tracheitis occurs, if not properly treat the acute form of the pathology that has arisen. At the same time, when the disease is chronized, various morphological hypertrophic or atrophic processes may occur in the envelope of the affected organ. Atrophy is expressed by the thinning of the tracheal mucosa, and hypertrophy - by growth or thickening.

In the clinical picture of chronic tracheitis there is always a painful and obsessive cough, especially aggravated in the morning and at night. In the presence of hypertrophic changes, a thick sputum is secreted when coughing, and in case of atrophic pathology, the nature of the cough becomes hacking and dry. Intoxication in chronic tracheitis is usually not observed.

Acute tracheitis

The acute form of the pathology usually occurs suddenly, often combined with other infectious processes of the respiratory tract in the patient's body. The patient's temperature rises to various indicators, which causes weakness in the body, fatigue, muscle and headaches.

The most important manifestation of acute tracheitis is a painful cough with a dry character and increased at night and in the morning.

Coughing attacks can be provoked by the patient’s deep breaths, sudden movements, laughter. After a short period of time, the cough is moistened, and when coughing, the discharge of thick mucus mucus is observed. With the progression of pathology sputum liquefies, it may become purulent. Coughing in acute form can cause a burning sensation behind the sternum.

Signs on etiology

Allergic type

If the tracheal mucosa is actively affected by dust, vapors and other allergens, then this can easily provoke an immune response in the form of an allergic reaction. Allergic tracheitis occurs more often in people who work in hazardous chemical or pharmacological production, in libraries, at construction sites, and often comes into contact with histamines.

With the initial symptoms of allergic tracheitis, the patients show signs of a cold — the voice becomes hoarse, slightly sore in the throat, there is an infrequent and dry small cough. After a few days, all the symptoms intensify, the pain in the throat becomes cutting and increases with swallowing or talking. A cough can become choking and painful, attacks of it can last for a long time, it occurs regardless of contact with the allergen. With untimely started therapy or with no treatment at all for 4-5 days, breathing worsens due to severe edema of mucous membranes and the appearance of thick white mucus on them, the body temperature rises sharply to critical points. Sometimes allergic tracheitis is characterized by a runny nose and itching in the mouth.

Bacterial tracheitis

The primary symptoms of bacterial tracheitis due to the secondary infection with respect to pathologies of the upper respiratory tract are runny nose, cough and hyperthermia of varying severity (often not pronounced). Only after 2-5 days of the disease, obstruction of the upper respiratory tract becomes visible, which is expressed by a strong and deep cough, difficulty in breathing, persistent hyperthermia, wheezing during breathing, swelling of the wings of the nose, cyanosis of the skin. If a patient’s sound is clearly heard when a patient’s breathing sounds, this most often indicates the occurrence of a serious infection with a partial obstruction of the respiratory tract, which is a deadly pathology.

If such symptoms are detected, it is impossible to let the situation take its course and it is necessary to urgently seek medical help.

Viral tracheitis

Acute viral tracheitis most often occurs in parallel with other diseases in the respiratory tract - sinusitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, which can be caused by viruses of a staphylococcal or streptococcal infection.

During the course of viral tracheitis, the mucous membrane morphologically changes, it swells, reddens, and sometimes even hematomas can occur. In the acute stage of the viral type of the disease, usually there are strong cough attacks with deep breathing and laughter in the mornings and evenings, hoarseness in the voice, squeezing pain in the sternum and throat, slight hyperthermia, the release of varying amounts of sputum, shallowness and increased respiration, suffocation, shortness of breath . Severe complications may develop in the form of pneumonia or bronchopneumonia.

Fungal tracheitis

Fungal tracheitis can have three different varieties depending on the causative agent - aspergillus tracheobronchitis, actinomycous and candidal tracheitis. With aspergillus tracheobronchitis, bronchial and tracheal mucous membranes are simultaneously affected. At the same time, there are attacks of dry or wet cough, in which purulent inclusions and lumps, unexpressed hyperthermia, allergic rhinitis, rarely occurring attacks of bronchial spasms, as in asthma, are seen in the sputum. Pathology is very similar in symptomatology with Aspergillus pneumonia, and therefore requires complex diagnostic methods.

In actinomycous tracheitis, fungi invade the trachea from the esophagus. At the same time, there is difficulty in breathing with attacks of asphyxiation due to growth under the influence of fungi in the lumen of the trachea of ​​an actinomycosis (pathological tumor) and scarring of the mucous membrane. Also, with this type of fungal infection, fistulas appear - first on the walls of the trachea, and then on the skin surface. They can only be treated by surgical intervention.

Candida fungi penetrate the region of the trachea from the esophagus, pharynx, oral cavity, larynx. Candidiasis can be caused by vomit or foreign body entering the lumen of the trachea. With this type of fungal infection, the patient has a typical cough, difficulty breathing, burning in the chest, between the shoulder blades (due to the fact that Candida causes a film to irritate this mucous membrane on the tracheal mucosa). The body temperature rises slightly, up to 37 degrees, allergy symptoms can begin if candidiasis is exacerbated.

Manifestations in children

The symptomatology of children's tracheitis is not much different from similar symptoms in adult patients. More often in childhood, pathology can occur in the form of laryngotracheitis, affecting the larynx along with the trachea, which causes spasm and swelling of the organ. As a result, a false croup can develop - a violation of the respiratory permeability, which will be indicated by a whistle while breathing, heard a few meters from the child.

Among the main symptoms of childhood pathology, the dry barking cough, shortness of breath and hoarseness are highlighted. The croup can cause asphyxiation, which is why children should be observed with tracheitis in pediatricians.

Article author:
Furmanova Elena Alexandrovna

Specialty: pediatrician, infectious diseases specialist, allergist-immunologist.

Total experience: 7 years.

Education: 2010, SSMU, pediatric, pediatrics.

Experience infectious diseases more than 3 years.

He has a patent on the topic “A method for predicting a high risk of the formation of a chronic pathology of the adeno-tonsillar system in frequently ill children”. As well as the author of publications in the journals of the Higher Attestation Commission.

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