About Peritonsillar Abscess and How it’s Treated

Common and Painful Throat Infections Can Cause a Variety of Problems

It’s normal for most people to experience moderate to severe throat pain from time to time. Sore throats are usually the result of allergies, flu, or the common cold.

However, when severe chronic throat and neck pain is caused after an infection of the tonsils, this is usually a signal that there’s a deeper problem. The doctors at miVIP are qualified to help patients rule out the causes for throat pain and swelling, which can include a type of infection called peritonsillar abscess.

The Causes of Peritonsillar Abscess

This is a type of infection that forms in the throat next to a tonsil. A tonsil abscess is a collection of pus resulting from an infection. Bacteria similar to strep throat sets in and infects the soft tissues near the tonsils, usually only on one side. Adults are most often the ones affected by this condition, although children are not necessarily ruled out.

A variety of factors can cause peritonsillar abscess, which include:

  • Chronic tonsillitis
  • Mononucleosis
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Smoking
  • Calcium deposits or stones inside the tonsil crypts (tonsilloliths)
When untreated, many of these conditions worsen to cause painful infection and swelling.

Related Neck and Throat Symptoms

A severe sore throat can signal the onset of a peritonsillar abscess. Although often benign, when throat soreness persists for several days, this may mean a serious problem is developing. Fever, swelling of the mouth and throat, enlarged and tender lymph glands, and painful swallowing may show up. A patient may also suffer from ear pain, a muffled voice, and difficulty breathing.

Treating Peritonsillar Abscess

Left untreated, bacterial infections can cause serious health risks. People suffering from any of the above symptoms for several days should seek treatment immediately. After diagnosing a peritonsillar abscess, doctors will often prescribe antibiotic medication, which can be effective in eliminating the infection and the painful symptoms. However, when an abscess is severe or recurring, a doctor may opt for surgery instead.

Surgery for peritonsillar abscess will usually involve the removal of the tonsils. The tonsil removal procedure is a minimally-invasive surgery and patients can go home within hours of waking up. It’s important for patients to understand and follow their doctors’ post-operation orders. During recovery, which can last from two to four weeks, patients will want to eat and drink only the foods their doctor has approved, watch for signs of infection, and take pain medication on schedule.

Surgery for peritonsillar abscess eliminates the problem from recurring. This is great news for those suffering from miserable throat pain related to their tonsils. For more information, give the offices of miVIP a call at 855-496-4847. Their caring staff will be happy to answer any questions or to schedule a consultation.