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About Peritonsillar Abscess and Top Treatments

Cure a Potentially Life-Threatening Complication of Tonsillitis

Peritonsillar abscess is a complication of tonsillitis. The condition has become less common in the United States as tonsillitis is usually successfully treated with routine antibiotics prescribed by general practitioners. However, peritonsillar abscesses can still be seen in a variety of patients. When left untreated, the abscesses can cause life-threatening complications. For example, excessive swollen tissue could block the airway. The abscesses can also rupture into the throat, enter the lungs, and cause pneumonia.

The ENTs at miVIP use state-of-the art diagnostic techniques to find the best treatments for individual patients. Patients often need to address peritonsillar abscesses with pharmaceutical treatments or tonsil removal surgery instead of only addressing bothersome peritonsillar abscess symptoms.

Who is At Risk

The deep infection that causes abscesses on the tonsils is the most common deep infection that occurs in the head and neck of adults. Statistics show that men and women between the ages of 20 and 40 are at the most risk, but children with compromised immune systems are often affected as well.

Common Causes of Peritonsillar Abscesses

Peritonsillar abscesses form in the throat after the soft tissue near the tonsils becomes infected. This type of bacterial infection may be caused by a number of factors that increase the risk of bacterial infections in the throat, including:

  • Chronic or untreated tonsillitis
  • Mononucleosis
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Tonsilloliths, also known as tonsil stones
  • Smoking cigarettes regularly

Peritonsillar Abscess Symptoms

There are several symptoms that are indicative of abscesses on the tonsils:

  • Severe sore throat with pain typically on one side
  • Fever and chills
  • Swelling of the face and neck or sensitive glands around the throat and jaw
  • Difficulty opening the mouth, pain, or muffled voice
  • Difficulty swallowing, inability to swallow, or drooling
  • Headache

Top Treatments for Peritonsillar Abscess

As mentioned, peritonsillar abscesses can cause severe health risks when left untreated. It is important to address the symptoms as well as the underlying bacterial infection. Antibiotic treatments may be prescribed. However, tonsil removal may be recommended due to the severity of the infection or recurrent infections.

  • Prescription medications – Antibiotics are the most popular pharmaceutical treatments for bacterial infections and will often successfully treat tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess symptoms.
  • Drainage procedures – In some cases, the abscesses may be safely drained without the removal of the tonsils.
  • Tonsil removal – This routine procedure is performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. Recovery may take as little as two weeks when post-operative instructions are followed closely.

Prognosis for Patients with Peritonsillar Abscesses

Peritonsillar abscesses typically go away with the correct treatment. However, there is a chance that the bacterial infection may return in the future.

Contact Us to Learn More

If you are experiencing any peritonsillar abscess symptoms, call the ENT specialists at miVIP at 877-956-2263 to schedule an appointment today. Learn more about the best ways to identify and treat chronic or severe peritonsillar abscesses.

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