Q:

What is tracheomalacia?

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Quick Answer

Tracheomalacia is a congenital problem that occurs when the cartilage of the trachea does not develop as it should, according to the National Institutes of Health. The trachea walls are weak and make it difficult for the child to breathe.

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Full Answer

The disorder is rare but must be treated immediately. Newborns with tracheomalacia will have symptoms such as higher pitched breathing, noisy breathing and breathing difficulty while eating, crying or coughing, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Doctors will perform a physical examination and will also often call for X-rays. Most of the time the child is able to be treated at home with careful monitoring, humidified air and gentle feedings, notes John Hopkin's Children's Center. In most cases, children will outgrow the condition by the time they are 2 years of age.

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