Tracheomalacia can have no symptoms, especially if the condition is very mild.
The major symptoms in adults are:
- Difficulty breathing
- High-pitched or rattling, noisy breaths
- Noisy breathing, that may change when body position shifts and may improve during sleep
- Severe coughing fits that may interrupt daily activities
- Episodes of feeling as though you are choking
- Lightheadedness due to coughing fits
- Recurrent pulmonary infections
Causes and Risk Factors
Some causes of tracheomalacia are prolonged intubation (as when a patient is under general anesthesia for a long time with a tube in their throat to help them breathe), a history of tracheotomy, chronic bronchitis , emphysema , or diffuse pulmonary fibrosis.