The symptoms of tracheomalacia vary from mild to severe breathing difficulties. Problems occur because the weakened walls of the trachea are not rigid enough to keep the windpipe properly open.
Signs of tracheomalacia include:
- Noisy or rattling breaths
- High-pitched breathing
- Breathing noises during sleep that can change as position changes and improve while sleeping
- Breathing problems made worse during feeding and by coughing, crying and upper respiratory infections
The types of symptoms are the same for both congenital tracheomalacia and acquired tracheomalacia. Newborns with tracheomalacia may also exhibit the symptoms of other disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux, heart defects and delayed development.