Tracheitis: treatment, symptoms, infection, what is it?
Tracheitis (Viral And Bacterial): Symptoms, Treatment, Recovery Time

Tracheitis (Viral And Bacterial): Symptoms, Treatment, Recovery Time

By Stacey Williams
Last edited
Tracheitis is a condition that involves an inflammation of the trachea and is usually secondary to an infection of the nose or throat. When it is mild, it disappears more often than not after a few weeks, and doesn’t require intensive treatment. It is contagious if it has an infectious origin.

Definition: what is tracheitis?

Tracheitis is a mucosal inflammation of the trachea which is the transit duct that carries air from the upper airways (throat, nose, ears) to the lower airways (lungs).

There are two types of distinguishable tracheitis. Mild tracheitis is temporary and heals after a couple of days whereas chronic tracheitis is more difficult to treat however, because the inflammation lasts longer.

Despite causing discomfort, tracheitis is mild most of the time and doesn’t lead to serious complications. It is most commonly diagnosed in autumn and spring.

Symptoms: how to recognise tracheitis

Tracheitis starts with feelings of irritation at the base of the neck which cause a dry and spasmodic cough. These fits of coughing usually occur during the night due to changing position whilst you sleep, which can lead to sleep disorders. A repeated contraction of the chest can lead to chest pains.

In cases of viral infection, a significant fever can occur. Tracheitis can sometimes be associated with laryngitis and is accompanied by a hoarse voice.

Causes of tracheitis

Tracheitis most commonly comes from a viral origin, caused by an ORL infection like Bronchitis, Rhinopharyngitis or Pharyngitis. In some of the rarer cases, it’s caused by bacteria.

Tracheitis is contagious only when the origin is infectious. When the infected person coughs, these infectious particles are expelled from the body and are spread using the air.

Among these other factors include tobacco use, pollution or other substances that are harmful to the breathing system as well as allergies, like pollen for example.

Treatment: how to treat tracheitis

In case of mild tracheitis, the illness tends to heal itself after a few weeks and therefore the treatment only tries to relieve the cough and chest pains with the help of syrup and cough mixture.

A natural treatment such as hot drinks based in honey, thyme or lemon can also help to alleviate these discomforts. Some simple steps such as using a humidifier in the bedroom or elevating the pillows can help with getting some sleep.

If the tracheitis is chronic, it is imperative to find the cause (syphilis, tuberculosis…) in order to be able to treat it.

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