Peritonsillar Abscess: Causes, Symptoms and Effective Treatment with Recovery

cover for peritonsillar abscess

Peritonsillar abscess- Definition

A peritonsillar abscess is defined as a bacterial infection in which a pus-filled pocket form near the tonsils. It is actually a complication that can occur when you leave strep throat or tonsillitis untreated. 

This has become a rare condition after the introduction of antibiotics. This is so because doctors prescribe medicines when you develop strep throat or tonsillitis. 

The young population is more prone to developing these abscesses than other age groups. 

Causes

causes of peritonsillar abscess

The abscesses at the back of the throat can develop due to a bacteria, Streptococcus pyogenes. This is the same bacteria that causes strep throat and tonsillitis. Actually, tonsilitis can aggravate a peritonsillar abscess around the tonsils.

These abscesses tend to form more during the winter and spring. Not only abscesses, strep throat and tonsillitis are also common during these seasons.

Rarely is the case in which peritonsillar abscesses form without tonsilitis. An abscess forms when the infection of the tonsils break out of a tonsil and spread to the surrounding area.

Another condition that can cause peritonsillar abscess is mononucleosis. This also causes tooth and gum infections. 

Symptoms

The most prominent symptoms that people experience when they suffer from a peritonsillar abscess is a swollen, white blister or boil at the back of the throat. This is actually an abscess. The symptoms of peritonsillar abscess are-

  • Infection in any one or both the tonsils 
  • Feeling feverish or chilly
  • Unable to open fully
  • Difficult to swallow
  • Drooling
  • Enlarged face or neck
  • Feeling of headache
  • Have a muffled voice
  • Soreness in throat
  • Pain inside the ear
  • Tenderness of the swollen glands
  • Bad breath 

When the abscess gets more complicated, you can see the following symptoms-

  • Infection in the lungs
  • Obstruction of the airway
  • Infection is spread to throat, mouth, neck, and chest
  • Destruction of the abscess 

Treatment 

  •  Antibiotics for acute peritonsillar abscess 

First doctors prescribe antibiotics after the diagnosis of peritonsillar abscess. In addition to medications, doctors also prescribe keeping yourself hydrated and proper nutrition to bring down the fever and pain. If you are unable to take medicines or nutrition orally, then these are administered through an intravenous (IV) channels. To treat the peritonsillar abscess, doctors prescribe antibiotics-

  • Penicillin
  • Clarithromycin 
  • Clindamycin 
  • Vancomycin 

Surgery for chronic peritonsillar abscess

For someone who has suffered from these abscesses a couple of times within a year, doctors recommend surgery. A  tonsillectomy is performed under the influence of anesthesia so that there is no pain. The whole procedure is completed between 45 to 60 minutes. Medical procedures include any one of the following-

  • Draining the pus with a needle and syringe
  • Piercing the abscess with a scalpel to drain out the pus
  • Removing the tonsils completely which is known as tonsillectomy.

Procedure of tonsillectomy-

tonsillectomy for peritonsillar abscess

Tonsillectomy is the surgical procedure of removing the tonsils from an individual’s throat. There are three ways the doctor can perform a tonsillectomy-

  • Slicing the tonsils with a scalpel or laser
  • Using ultrasonic vibrations
  • Cauterizing the tonsils with heat 

Also Read: Facts sheet for Tonsillectomy!

Recovery

Tonsillectomies are painful. The doctor will prescribe painkillers to ease out the pain according to the patient’s needs. Apart from the medications, the tips can help you recover faster-

  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Eat a bland diet 
  • Eat foods that are easy to swallow
  • Take rest as much as possible
  • Don’t take any medicine without consulting with the doctor
  • For children, do not give Aspirin as pain-relievers

Why choose Pristyn Care?

Out of the three methods that are discussed above about a tonsillectomy, the most effective option available is the laser treatment. And guess what?

E.N.T specialist of Pristyn Care performs laser surgeries to perform tonsillectomies. The laser treatment involves absolutely no cuts or incisions. There are several benefits of laser treatment that makes it so effective.

  • It is absolutely painless as it is performed under the influence of anesthesia
  • There is minimum blood loss as no cuts or incisions are involved
  • You’ll recover within two days
  • As performed on an outpatient basis, you can go back home on the same day
  • Zero chances of infection
Causes of Peritonsillar abscessInfection due to Streptococcus pyogenes, Tonsillitis, Strep throat or mononucleosis
Symptoms of Peritonsillar abscessInfection in any one or both the tonsils, Feeling feverish or chilly, Unable to open fully, Difficult to swallow (dysphagia), Drooling, Enlarged face or neck, Feeling of headache, Have a muffled voice, Soreness in the throat, Pain inside the ear, Tenderness of the swollen glands, Bad breath 
Treatment of Peritonsillar abscessAntibiotics, Tonsillectomy
Recovery from Peritonsillar abscessDrinking lots of water, eating bland food, eating mashed food items

Also Read: 10 Natural Remedies for Sore Throat

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