Peritonsillar Abscess: Signs and Treatments

Many different illnesses begin as a simple sore throat, but quickly develop into something more serious. In some cases, the issue can worsen even further, leading to painful complications like abscesses. If your tonsillitis has intensified into severe throat pain, trouble talking or swallowing, and noticeable swelling, there might be a chance you’re suffering from a peritonsillar abscess

SLENT, or South Louisiana Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastics, has locations in Mandeville, Hammond, and Slidell, Louisiana. Our experienced team of ENT specialists can determine if you have a tonsillitis-related abscess, and help remedy your condition. 

Tonsillitis 101 

When most people think of tonsillitis, they imagine a child happily eating ice cream after surgery. However, tonsillitis can occur in people of all ages, from teenagers to fully grown adults, and an infection of the tonsils doesn’t always warrant a tonsillectomy. 

Your tonsils are lymph glands located at the back of your throat. When they become infected, it can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like bad breath, a sore throat, painful swallowing, and visible swelling. Many cases of acute tonsillitis clear up in a few days to a week, and bacterial infections can be treated using antibiotics. 

However, not all cases of tonsillitis are so cut and dry. Chronic tonsillitis can persist for weeks, and recurrent tonsillitis can circle back and make you sick multiple times. To make matters worse, some people develop peritonsillar abscesses, which can worsen existing symptoms and lead to significant pain. 

Symptoms of a peritonsillar abscess

The space between and around your tonsils is known as the peritonsillar area. When pus collects in this area, it can lead to painful swelling and worsening symptoms. These include: 

Most peritonsillar abscesses develop as complications of tonsillitis, but they can also occur during cases of infectious mononucleosis, or mono

Treatment for peritonsillar abscesses

If you suspect you have a peritonsillar abscess, seek help from a doctor as soon as possible. The abscess will need to be drained, and you might require antibiotics or treatment for your tonsillitis. If you’re suffering from chronic or recurrent tonsillitis, the team at SLENT might recommend a tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils). 

Don’t ignore pain and swelling in the throat, especially if it goes on for days or becomes severe. Our doctors have years of experience dealing with tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscesses, so we can help you overcome the issue and get back to your regular routine.  

To schedule an appointment, call the location closest to you, or visit the contact page for more information. 

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