Trachea is a wind pipe or tube that connects the pharynx and larynx to the lungs and allows the passage of air. It is a tube about 4 inches long and less than an inch in diameter. The trachea begins just under the larynx and runs down behind the breastbone or sternum. The trachea then divides into two smaller tubes called bronchi, one bronchus for each lung. The trachea is composed of about 20 rings of tough cartilage. The back part of each ring is made of muscle and connective tissue. Moist smooth tissue called mucosa is lined inside the trachea. The trachea widens and strengthens with each breath in and return to its normal size when breath out.


In the respiratory system trachea allows the air to flow into the lungs for respiration. The trachea is lined by the goblet cells and ciliated epithelial cells which produce mucus. The mucus moistens the air when it passes through the respiratory tract. It also traps the inhaled foreign particles like dust or bacteria which have escaped the hair of the nasal cavity.


Tracheal diseases and conditions include choking; tracheomalacia means weakness of the tracheal cartilage, mounier-kuhn syndrome which causes abnormal enlargement of the trachea.  Tracheo bronchial injury, tracheal collapse, tracheal stenosis means inflammation in the trachea which leads to the scarring and narrowing of the windpipe, tracheo oesophageal fistula is an abnormal channel forms to connect the trachea and oesophagus, tracheal cancer is a very rare condition and tracheal obstruction like tumour or other growth can compress and narrow the trachea.

Interesting Facts:

If water or food enters the wind pipe it may cause choking and difficulty in breathing.

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