As a parent, it is important for you to know the tracheomalacia in babies symptoms. This is because, although many parents think that this is something that couldn’t happen to their baby, it is a possible danger in case of every child and parents have to be on the lookout to recognize the signs and get early treatment.
What is Tracheomalacia?
It means that the cartilage supporting the trachea isn’t strong enough to offer steady support. Because of this, when the baby exhales, the trachea becomes too narrow and the baby will experience trouble breathing. Primary tracheomalacia is a birth disorder, while secondary tracheomalacia can be caused by another disease or infection.
The signs and symptoms of tracheomalacia may vary from case to case. However, the most common symptoms include wheezing, heart anomalies like heart rings, high pitched breathing, and airway infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis because the baby cannot cough to clear the lungs.
Even if the baby has symptoms of tracheomalacia, in many cases the condition is misdiagnosed and considered severe asthma. This is why it is important for the baby to be seen by an experienced doctor who can see the differences.
Sometimes not even the parents can correctly assess the signs of tracheomalacia in babies. They often believe it to be respiratory congestion even if there is no viral respiratory infection. In order to make a correct diagnosis there is need for rigid or flexible bronchoscopy.
Besides bronchoscopy, when faced with symptoms of tracheomalacia, doctors can also order fluoroscopy that can prove the collapse and thus there will be no need for more invasive procedures. An MRI might be an important tool of diagnosis especially in case of a heart ring.
The sad truth is that there is no way to prevent the condition because the babies are born with weak cartilage and the researchers don’t know yet why this happens. Secondary tracheomalacia can be caused by esophageal atresia, heart anomalies, treatment of different medical conditions, recurrent infection, and internal masses and structures that make the trachea narrower.
Parents should never dismiss the symptoms of tracheomalacia in babies because if they are vigilant they can save the life of their babies and make the little one more comfortable. If you think there is something wrong with your baby, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a doctor or specialist to find out what to do.