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 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.