Symptoms of tracheitis are a combination of factors and clinical manifestations of the disease, based on which the doctor can diagnose this pathology and thanks to which one can judge the typical course of the disease and prescribe effective therapy.
The trachea is the organ that connects the larynx to the bronchi. Bacteria and viruses in the respiratory tract often cause inflammation in the trachea, which leads to tracheitis. The symptoms of this pathology have much in common with laryngitis, bronchitis, however, it is tolerated and eliminated much easier with timely qualified treatment.
Often, the only manifestation of tracheitis may be a dry, choking cough that occurs in patients in the morning or at night. In parallel with the cough, there is usually a sore throat, discomfort is felt in the chest area. The remaining symptoms of this pathology depend on the type of disease and the causes that cause it.
- First signs
- Main symptoms
- Symptoms according to the form of the disease
- Signs by etiology
- Manifestations in children
Usually tracheitis begins according to a similar scenario with acute respiratory infections. First, the patient has a runny nose and dry cough. A person may complain of weakness, sore throat, pain in the head. Hyperthermia up to 38-39 degrees can last up to 3 days, but sometimes it may not rise at all or rise to subfebrile levels of 37.5-38.0.
In young children, at the beginning of the development of tracheitis in the morning, wheezing can be heard at a distance. Such wheezing usually disappears after the patient has cleared his throat. Shortness of breath with tracheitis, as a rule, does not occur.
Cough with tracheitis
The main manifestation of the inflammatory process in the tracheal area is a dry cough. It is often very difficult for patients, because it is expressed paroxysmal, more often at night or in the morning, it is hacking.
Cough with tracheitis occurs with laughter, and with a change in ambient temperature, and with a deep breath. At the same time, expectoration with such a cough is practically not observed, but in the process of coughing, the retrosternal zone and the pharynx begin to hurt. At the level of the reflex, patients begin to decrease their respiratory activity, resulting in shallow and rapid breathing. The main therapeutic goal of the first days of tracheitis is to soften the mucosa and eliminate its irritation to soothe the hacking cough.
After 3-4 days of illness, the viscosity of sputum decreases, it begins to flow more freely, soreness during coughing attacks decreases. If the tracheitis has not touched the bronchi and lungs, then the inflammation most often goes away on its own in 1-2 weeks.
With the transition of acute tracheitis into a chronic form, coughing at night and in the morning becomes very painful, while sputum is well separated, but this process is accompanied by chest pain. If the pathology does not go away for a long time, then this is fraught with the occurrence of exacerbations and associated complications and pathologies. Paroxysmal coughing with tracheitis is very difficult to confuse with other diseases with similar symptoms. Even shallow breathing tells doctors about the presence of the disease in question, but after examining the patient, specialists are convinced of the diagnosis by the characteristic changes that the tracheal mucosa has undergone if tracheoscopy or laryngoscopy was performed.
Temperature as a symptom
Depending on the severity and stage of the disease, hyperthermia can be expressed in different ways. With tracheitis, 4 degrees of fever are distinguished, each of which has its own signs:
- subfebrile - up to 37 degrees;
- febrile - 37-39 degrees;
- pyretic - 39-41 degrees;
- hyperpyretic - more than 41 degrees.
With subfebrile fever, a patient with tracheitis has discomfort, many people do not even notice such a slight increase in body temperature. With febrile fever, its manifestations are strong, patients are tormented by thirst, fever, weakness. If pyretic fever occurs, then this is evidence of the spread of the inflammatory process in the body, which may be accompanied by convulsions, loss of appetite, severe sweating and arrhythmia. In this case, the mandatory intake of antipyretic drugs is indicated.
With hyperpyretic fever, all of the above symptoms are aggravated, which are complicated by dehydration.
Metabolic processes are disturbed in the brain tissues, which, without proper measures, can lead to death. Also, pyretic and hyperpyretic fever may be accompanied by hallucinations. In this case, it is impossible to postpone the start of therapy, it is important to seek medical help in a timely manner.
In the acute form of tracheitis, the mucous membrane of the pharynx undergoes morphological changes, expressed in redness of the pharynx, severe swelling, and sometimes in pinpoint hematomas.
If comorbidities develop with tracheitis, such as laryngitis, pharyngitis, then patients begin to suffer from perspiration, burning, tickling, dryness of the nasopharynx and other unpleasant symptoms in this area.
The chronic form of tracheitis occurs if the acute form of the pathology that has arisen is not properly treated. At the same time, during the chronicization of the disease, various morphological hypertrophic or atrophic processes can occur in the shell of the affected organ. Atrophy is expressed by thinning of the tracheal mucosa, and hypertrophy by growth or thickening.
In the clinical picture of chronic tracheitis, there is always a painful and obsessive cough, especially worse in the morning and at night. In the presence of hypertrophic changes, thick sputum is released during coughing, and in atrophic pathology, the nature of the cough becomes hoarse and dry. Intoxication in chronic tracheitis is usually not observed.
The acute form of the pathology usually occurs suddenly, often combined with other infectious processes of the respiratory tract in the patient's body. The patient's temperature rises to various levels, which causes weakness in the body, fatigue, muscle and headaches.
The most important manifestation of acute tracheitis is a painful cough with a dry character and intensification at night and in the morning.
Coughing attacks can be provoked by deep breaths of the patient, sudden movements, laughter. After a short time, the cough is moistened and when coughing, one can observe the discharge of thick sputum of a mucous nature. With the progression of pathology, sputum liquefies, it can become purulent. When coughing in an acute form, a burning sensation behind the sternum may occur.
If the tracheal mucosa is actively affected by dust, fumes and other allergens, then this can easily provoke an immune reaction in the form of an allergic reaction. Allergic tracheitis occurs more often in those people who work in hazardous chemical or pharmacological industries, in libraries, at construction sites and often come into contact with histamines.
With the primary symptoms of allergic tracheitis, patients show signs of a cold - the voice becomes hoarse, slightly ticklish in the throat, and an infrequent and dry small cough occurs. After a few days, all symptoms increase, the pain in the throat becomes cutting and increases when swallowing or talking. Cough can become suffocating and painful, its attacks can last for a long time, it occurs regardless of contact with the allergen. In case of untimely therapy or in the absence of treatment for 4-5 days, breathing worsens due to severe swelling of the mucous membranes and the appearance of thick white mucus on them, the body temperature rises sharply to critical levels. Sometimes allergic tracheitis is characterized by a runny nose and itching in the mouth.
The primary symptoms of bacterial tracheitis due to the secondary infection in relation to the pathologies of the upper respiratory tract are runny nose, cough and hyperthermia of varying severity (often not pronounced). Only after 2-5 days of the course of the disease, obstruction of the upper respiratory tract becomes visible, which is expressed by a strong and deep cough, difficulty breathing, persistent hyperthermia, wheezing when breathing, swelling of the wings of the nose, cyanosis of the skin. If a piercing sound is clearly heard when the patient breathes, this most often indicates the occurrence of a serious infection with partial airway obstruction, which is a deadly pathology.
If such symptoms are detected, the situation should not be allowed to take its course and you should urgently seek medical help.
Acute viral tracheitis most often occurs in parallel with other diseases in the respiratory tract - sinusitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, which can be caused by staphylococcal or streptococcal infections.
During the course of viral tracheitis, the mucosa changes morphologically, it swells, turns red, and sometimes even petechial hematomas can occur. In the acute stage of the viral type of the disease, there are usually severe coughing attacks with deep breathing and laughter in the mornings and evenings, hoarseness in the voice, squeezing pain in the sternum and throat, and slight hyperthermia. Allocation of a changing amount of sputum, shallowness and rapid breathing, suffocation, shortness of breath. Severe complications such as pneumonia or bronchopneumonia may develop.
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Fungal tracheitis can have three different varieties depending on the pathogen - aspergillus tracheobronchitis, actinomycosis and candidal tracheitis. With Aspergillus tracheobronchitis, the mucous membranes of the bronchi and trachea are simultaneously affected. At the same time, attacks of dry or wet cough are observed, in which purulent inclusions and lumps are visible in the sputum, unexpressed hyperthermia, allergic rhinitis, rarely occurring attacks of bronchial spasms, as in asthma. Pathology is very similar in symptoms to Aspergillus pneumonia, and therefore requires complex diagnostic techniques.
With actinomycosis tracheitis, fungi enter the trachea from the esophagus. At the same time, there is difficulty in breathing with attacks of suffocation due to growth under the influence of fungi in the lumen of the trachea of actinomycoma (a pathological tumor) and scarring of the mucosa. Also, with this type of fungal infection, fistulas occur - first on the walls of the trachea, and then on the surface of the skin. They can only be treated with surgery.
Candida fungi penetrate into the trachea from the esophagus, pharynx, oral cavity, larynx. Candidiasis can be caused by vomit or a foreign body entering the lumen of the trachea. With this type of fungal infection, the patient has a typical cough, shortness of breath, burning behind the sternum, between the shoulder blades (due to the fact that candida causes the formation of a film on the tracheal mucosa that irritates this mucosa). Body temperature rises slightly, up to 37 degrees, allergy symptoms may begin if candidiasis is exacerbated.
Symptoms of childhood tracheitis are not much different from similar symptoms in adult patients. More often in childhood, pathology can occur in the form of laryngotracheitis, affecting the larynx along with the trachea, which causes spasm and swelling of this organ. As a result, a false croup may develop - a violation of respiratory patency, as evidenced by a whistle during breathing, heard a few meters from the child.
Among the main symptoms of childhood pathology, a dry-type barking cough, shortness of breath and hoarseness stand out. Croup can cause choking, which is why children must be observed for tracheitis in pediatricians.