Inflammation of the trachea


An inflammation of the throat can indicate an inflammation of the windpipe.

An inflammation of the trachea, which is also used in medical terminology Tracheitis is a disease of the windpipe (Trachea), which can have various causes. There is an acute form of trachitis, the so-called acute tracheitis, of a chronic form. This means that the disease develops slowly and persists for a longer period of time, possibly even for a lifetime. An inflammation of the trachea is more common during the winter months.

root cause

As Triggers inflammation of the trachea many different causes can be considered. These include infectious and allergic causes, but it can also chemical irritants as a trigger for an inflammation of the trachea.

The acute trachitis is in most cases infectious, that is, they are often the result of one Virus infection or bacteria. It is noteworthy that a pure inflammation limited to the trachea is rather rare. In the most common cases, too other sections of the respiratory tract, for example the nose, the larynx or the Mucous membrane of the bronchi, concerned. In these circumstances one speaks of one combined inflammation. A Rhinotracheitis is an inflammation that affects both the nose and the windpipe, one Laryngotracheitis affects the larynx and windpipe and the Tracheobronchitis the bronchi and the trachea.

Causes of Acute Trachitis

In 90% of the cases is the inflammation of the trachea caused by viruses. Possible candidates for viral infection are the so-called Rhinoviruseswhich are fairly common, but in most cases only to one common cold to lead. Other potential pathogens are ECHO, parainfluenza or Coxsackie viruses. One way of transmitting these viruses is the so-called Droplet infection. This means that the pathogens are present, for example, in the saliva of a sick person and so among other things in the Sneezing or coughing can be transmitted to another person through the air via small droplets.

A possible complication a previous inflammation by viruses is that then a additional Infection with bacteria (bacterial superinfection) can occur through the possibly still existing Defensive weakness can be favored. Overall, however trachitis caused by bacteria is much less common. Bacterial trachitis is often caused by a special bacterium, for example the so-called Staphylococcus aureus. This bacterium is widespread and occurs in humans for example on the skin or in the airways in front. In general, this bacterium does not necessarily lead to disease. However, if the immune system of the person concerned is weakened, for example due to a previous viral infection, it can spread and become ill. Other bacterial pathogens causing trachitis are the so-called Streptococci, Pneumococci or Haemophilus Influenza. It also plays a role in bacterial infections Droplet infection the main role.

In addition to viruses and bacteria, there is another type of infectious trachitiswhich occur mainly in people with severely weakened immune systems, such as people who have HIV or who are receiving treatment as part of a Cancer therapy or Organ transplant a severely weakened immune system to have. This is the Inflammation of the trachea caused by fungal infections. However, this is extremely rare.

In general, other preceding ones can also be used harmful influences promote an inflammation of the trachea caused by viruses and bacteria. These include things like inhaled irritating gases and fumes, but also under certain circumstances Smoke or dust.

Cause of chronic trachitis

The chronic trachitis is mainly created by the Inhalation of irritants of a chemical nature. Even the permanent irritation through long-term tobacco use can become a chronic trachitis to lead. Other causes include narrowing of the windpipe (stenosis) or mechanical disabilitieslike for example through a growing tumor can arise.

The so-called tracheomalcy is less common, a disease in which the Tracheal stability impaired and ensures that parts or even the whole windpipe can collapse.

due to reflux

One way of one Inflammation of the trachea getting sick is due to reflux. In this case, reflux means that the acidic stomach acid against its actual flow reaches up into the esophagus, so-called "gastroesophageal reflux". This acidic gastric juice can persist for one too Irritation of the windpipe worry and in this context also cause inflammation.

in babies

A Risk group in addition to the group of elderly people there is also the Group of newborns and toddlers. This is due to the fact that babies in general still weaker immune system have as adults because their immune systems are still developing. This means that they can get infected more easily and possibly show a more severe course of the disease.


At a Inflammation of the trachea can be a number of various symptoms occur, which can differ from person to person and also in the Differ in severity of their occurrence can.

Symptoms include cough, hoarseness, a sore throat or a burning sensation behind the breastbone. Also a altered breathing sound, the so-called inspiratory stridorwho through the Airway impairment arises can occur. Depending on which region of the respiratory tract is impaired, it is a kind of "hissing" (nasal region) or humming (windpipe or bronchi). Furthermore, the Voice training be disabled so that the It may be difficult to speak.

The Inflammation of the trachea can also be accompanied by other, more general symptoms. These include a fever, headache, earache, dizziness and a general feeling of weakness.


Diagnosis is usually carried out clinical. That means that in the case of trachitis occurring symptoms can already give an indication of the disease. Another measure is that Consideration of the pharynx and larynxby looking at the throat, possibly after pressing down the tongue with a tongue depressor. The doctor can also use his stethoscope Trachea and lungs wiretap and any altered breathing sounds which can also give an indication of the trachitis.

At a inflammation of the trachea caused by bacteria The blood test can also help. There may be increased inflammation parameters (so-called "CRP") and one increased sedimentation rate ("BSG"). These increased levels of inflammation absent in the case of a viral trachitis.


Treatments are different depending on whether the trachitis was caused by viruses or bacteria. Should Viruses responsible for inflammation will be, as a rule no drug therapy sought. Usually the disorder should independently after a week heal.

In case of a bacterial inflammation may possibly use the targeted therapy with Ontibiotics may be necessary. The selection of the suitable antibiotic takes place depending on the triggering bacterium, as not all antibiotics are equally effective against every bacterium.

At Children and the elderly caution is advised because there the Inflammation of the trachea leads to pneumonia more quickly than in healthy adults.

Home remedies

In the therapy of the trachitis can also additionally still Home remedies can be used. Inhalation with saline liquids can the occurring cough alleviate, as well as the consumption of various Teas, for example chamomile or Linden blossom. Also the consumption of cough suppressant candies with ingredients like sage, various herbs or eucalyptus can help relieve the cough.

You can also find more information under our topic: Cough Home Remedies.


In the drug therapy There are various preparations that can be used for trachitis. In the case of trachitis caused by bacteria, an antibiotic must be used in the more severe course, which must be selected specifically according to the pathogen. A commonly used antibiotic in acute bacterial tracheitis, the amoxicillin belongs to the class of the so-called Penicillins heard and for the treatment of Respiratory infections suitable. The spectrum of activity of the antibiotic against other pathogens can be expanded by combining it with supporting substances.

Also taking Drugs that are expectorant can have a supportive effect during treatment. There would come for example Acetylcysteine in question, commercially available also "ACC" called. It has a liquefying effect and promotes the expulsion of the stuck mucus. Also can Medicines for the Cough stimuli are used (so-called "Antitussives"). Most of the representatives of this category are Derived from opiates and therefore only available on prescription. The use is only recommended with severe courses. In addition, these drugs should only have one short period be taken as they are a Dependency potential have.

Furthermore, painkillers can be used because the Inflammation of the trachea may be associated with pain, especially from persistent coughing and irritation of the airways. Paracetamol or Novalgin are two examples of drugs that can be taken.


The prognosis of trachitis is this basically good. The Healing a viral tracheitis usually happens independently within a week. If the symptoms persist for more than a few days to weeks, it increases Risk of additional bacterial infection (so-called. "Superinfection“) So that a Administration of antibiotics should be done. At a Duration of more than 2 weeks A thorough evaluation should be made to others Causes of the trachitis to exclude.


Concrete prevention of trachitis is not directly possible. It is possible that immune system by balanced nutrition and physical activity to strengthen. It is generally recommended to use the Consumption of harmful substances such as tobacco too fail. That being said, there is the option of that Ambient airespecially if it gets dry in the cold winter months due to the heating, moisten and thus to prevent irritation of the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract.

You can find further information under our topic: Strengthen your immune system.