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Tracheal Disorders

Also called: Windpipe disorders
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Your trachea, or windpipe, is one part of your airway system. Airways are pipes that carry oxygen-rich air to your lungs. They also carry carbon dioxide, a waste gas, out of your lungs.

When you inhale, air travels from your nose, through your larynx, and down your windpipe. The windpipe splits into two bronchi that enter your lungs.

Problems with the trachea include narrowing, inflammation, and some inherited conditions. You may need a procedure called a tracheostomy to help you breathe if you have swallowing problems, or have conditions that affect coughing or block your airways. You might also need a tracheostomy if you are in critical care and need to be on a breathing machine.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)

Diagnosis and Tests

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

Living With

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Related Issues

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders) Also in


  • (American Society of Clinical Oncology)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)
  • From the National Institutes of Health


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