The specific mechanisms that are the causes of tracheomalacia are unknown but are being researched. In tracheomalacia, the rigid cartilage that forms the windpipe, or trachea, becomes weak and “floppy”. The flaccid walls collapse more than normal during breathing, causing various respiratory problems and increasing complications arising from infections
What Causes Tracheomalacia?
Some babies are born with the cartilage of the trachea being weak, known as congenital tracheomalacia. A breakdown of the windpipe cartilage after birth is referred to as acquired, or secondary, tracheomalacia. It may occur as a result of large blood vessels putting pressure on the airway, complications from surgery for tracheo-esphagela fistula or esophageal atresia, or from extended use of a breathing tube.