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What causes tightness and burning sensation in trachea?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 2962 Questions
For quite a while now, I have had this vague tightness and burning in what feels like my trachea. I also have painful scalene and sternocleidomastoid muscles. Are these connected, and what could cause this?
Posted Tue, 25 Feb 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Proper clinical review, ENT opinion Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for the query, The sensation you have in the trachea would require a keen evaluation. It is however imperative to be sure of you experience other feelings like coughing, any history of lung disease like asthma or choking. Knowing these are important especially as they are of recent onset. Any notion of smoking would also be of importance. Appreciating your weight lately is important, your appetite and any symptoms with respect to swallowing and digestion. The trachea is so close to the esophagus that conducts food to the stomach. A problem in one of these areas could lead to symptoms to be felt elsewhere. Loss loss in the contractile nature or strength or the trachea could produce such sensations. Infections can also present as such. A complete review by an ENT specialist would offer much help. Direct observation with a special light source, called a laryngoscope, coupled with a proper clinical review by your doctor shall give clues required to better diagnose and treat the cause of these symptoms. Painful scalene and sternocleidomastoid muscles shall generally have two main causes of the pain. If the pain is completely absent when you are at rest, and also starts when you exercise a movement, it should be of mechanical origin. Simple pain killers and rest could be sufficient as treatment. In case pain also occurs when patient is at rest, this is generally caused by an inflammation. Blood tests like the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), the measures the degree of inflammation would be most helpful under these circumstance, in other to monitor treatment. Anti Inflammatory drugs like Non Steroidal Anti inflammatory drugs (Diclofenac, Ibuprofen etc), and at times Steroids would offer much help. Special patients characteristics like history of gastric disease of peptic ulcer disease and specific allergies and health peculiarities are however needed, to adapt the treatment to the specific needs of the patient. It is very difficult to actually create a link between these symptoms you just described. Pain in other regions of the body, and any history of joint pain or not, or of a rheumatologica disease should also be precised to the doctor for a proper evaluation. The conditions really do really do not seem related. I suggest you book an appointment with an ENT specialist and consequently internist, based on ENT advice, for a proper clinical review. Thanks and kind regards as I wish you the best of health. DR Bain
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