Difference Between Esophagus and Trachea (With Table)

Human anatomy is complicated and complex, but two organs that play a primary role in healthy functioning of our body is trachea also called the windpipe that is directly connected to our lungs and help us breathe any damage to the windpipe can cause severe damage in delivering oxygen around the body sometimes leading to death.

Esophagus vs Trachea

The difference between Trachea and Esophagus is that esophagus is a long muscular tube that connects the throat to our stomach and helps in the transfer of food. Trachea is a short, muscular tube approx. 4 inches long that connects the voice box.

Esophagus is approx. 8 inches long and is surrounded by a thick layer of mucous esophagus contain two sphincters also LES (lower oesophagal sphincter) and UES (upper esophagus sphincter)

Esophagus also called the food pipe is a very long cylindrical pipe that is connected directly to our stomach the food pipe carries food, any damage to food pipe can cause chronic problems in the body, and sometimes artificial drip has to be attached along the nerves if food pipe stops functioning.

Trachea keeps on diving into several tubes called bronchi that is one bronchus for each lung and helps in the exchange of gases between the environment and lungs moreover it also contains cartilage ring on the windpipe to avoid any elapse of air.

Comparison Table Between Esophagus and Trachea

Parameters of ComparisonEsophagusTrachea
Other NamesFood pipeWind pipe
FunctionHelps in the transfer of food particles from mouth to the stomachHelps in exchange of gases as we inhale oxygen enters our windpipe then reaches balloon-like structures called bronchi and then oxygen reaches lungs.
Length25 centimeters10 to 12 centimeters            
Organ SystemPart of the digestive systemPart of the respiratory system
ConnectionConnects the moth to the stomach and passes through the diaphragmConnects the throat to lungs and further divide into two opening called bronchi
StructureIt is a long muscular pipe which contracts and expands pushing the food to stomach; this is also called swallowingIt is a short, muscular tube that has 20 C shape cartilages present on the surface preventing elapsing of the air.                

What is Esophagus?

Esophagus is also known as the food pipe, is a muscular tube that extends to 25 cm long that connects the mouth to the stomach.

 It helps in transfer of food from the mouth to the stomach the esophagus functioning seems to be complex but is very clear when we eat the food reaches a food pipe and contractions, and expansions helped the food to push downward also known as the feeling of swallowing.

 This is how the food reaches our stomach to prevent food coming back to mouth sphincters prevent from food coming back in our mouth the wall of the esophagus is covered with a mucus layer that helped the food delivery easy and does not cause the burning on the walls of the esophagus.

Esophagus is present behind the windpipe, heart and in front of the spine therefore many times while eating a person can choke because a large chunk of food can also put pressure on the windpipe thus making a person and difficulty in breathing many times people suffer from food pipe cancer that causes their food pipe to not function. Therefore, an artificial drip has to be installed in the nerves of the human to transfer the food to the whole body

 the esophagus contains two sphincters one is UES that is called the upper esophagus sphincter and the second one is LES that is called the lower esophagus sphincter the upper sphincter prevents the backward flow of the food, and the lower one exits the food into the stomach.

What is Trachea?

Trachea which is also known as the windpipe is a short cylindrical muscular tube that connects the throat to the lungs. The windpipe then further divides into two bronchi each for one lung a balloon-like structure and the divides into many openings tube that help in exchange of gases through lungs. The trachea is about 10 to 12 cm long it has C shaped cartilages present on it to prevent the elapsing of air trachea

 it the part of the respiratory system the trachea begins under the voice box running down the breast bone and is present in front of the food pipe sometimes eating a big chunk of food can effective in the pipe as they are closely related the big chunk and sometimes choked the food by causing deaths, the trachea is the part of our respiratory system

 the air we breathe enter nostrils then enter into a windpipe and then the wind is further divided into two bronchi which further divides into bronchioles and reaches the lungs, and then the air divides are the oxygen into the whole body helping our body function. Many a times due to unknown reasons trachea can stop functioning in that case oxygen mask have to be put on the mouth also known as artificial respiration for the functioning of the body.

Main Differences Between Esophagus and Trachea

  1. The trachea is a part of the respiratory system that helps in the exchange of gases, whereas the Esophagus is part of the digestive system helping the transfer of food.
  2. The trachea is also known as windpipe connects the throat to the lungs which further divides into two tubes called bronchi and further divides into more tubes called bronchioles whereas esophagus also called the food pipe connects the mouth to the stomach.
  3. Trachea contains C shaped cartilages that prevent relapsing of the air whereas esophagus contains the sphincter that prevents the backward flow of the food
  4. The trachea is approximately 10 to 12 cm long whereas the esophagus is 25 cm long
  5. Trachea helps in the exchange of air when we breathe air enters our nostril reaches our windpipe and then the bronchi a balloon-like structure present at the end of lungs whereas esophagus helps in food transfer when we eat food is pushed into our pipe and pipe contracts and expands and is then pushed into our stomach


It is clear from the above that human anatomy seems to be complex but can be easily understood.

Trachea and esophagus are two different sections of our body; trachea also called the windpipe which is the part of our respiratory system whereas esophagus is also called the food pipe and is part of our digestive system.

It is understood that the human body is very precious and any damage to our body can cause chronic problems sometimes also leading to death. The trachea is a short, muscular tune that is around 10 cm long, whereas the esophagus is a long muscular tube that is 25 cm long.