Symptoms of tracheobronchomalacia include:
- Wheezing when exhaling and a high-pitched noise when inhaling.
- Respiratory distress and difficulty breathing.
- Inability to clear excretions and mucous.
- Repeated upper respiratory infections.
- A bluish color to the skin surrounding the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth.
Causes and Risk Factors
Tracheobronchomalacia in children is thought to be congenital (hereditary). In adults, the risk factors are being an older male smoker, often with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Other causes of tracheobronchomalacia are:
- Damage to the trachea due to a tracheostomy, where an incision is made into the windpipe and a tube is inserted to assist in breathing.
- Tracheal fractures.
- Compression of the trachea due to tumors or masses.
- Thyroid tumors.
- Dilated aortic or pulmonary arteries.
- Chronic irritation due to coughing, as from asthma.
- Second hand smoke.