If you are acquainted with infection of throat then you must have heard of peritonsillar abscess. It is one of the most common complications related to tonsillitis and the bacterium that is responsible for this kind of disease is Streptococcus. A puss is formed surrounding the site of infection and nearby and this is termed as abscess. This puss gets accumulated as the infection spreads among the soft tissues located around the tonsils. It can be found more in adults than in infants or teenagers.
Once someone suffers from this problem there may various symptoms that would let you know about the disease! Some of them are
- Intense throat pain
- Inflammation of the throat
- Problem in breathing and speaking due to blockage
- High fever with chills
- Ear pain in the affected side
Risks associated with it
Although it may seem to be quite simple and few medicines and proper care would be enough for getting well, yet, there is risk associated with it too. Extensive peritonsillar abscess may lead to gum infection and you may start suffering from gum infections (periodontitis or gingivitis). Having chronic tonsillitis is also possible. Even there are chances of accumulation of calcium deposits resulting into calcium deposits or stones in the tonsils. Apart from that there are always chances of having chronic lymphocytic leukemia commonly known as CLL.
When a patient complains about sore throat then the physician would first examine the throat near the tonsils. If they found any redness and swelling in that area, it would suggest that there are chances of abscess. If you are facing this problem, you may found some doctors pressing that area to understand whether puss is secreted from the site of infection or not. Generally this disease can be easily detected by simple observation, there is no need to conduct any lab test or X-rays or scans.
Depending upon the severity of the case, your physician would start his treatment. One of the ways of treating it is puncturing the abscess with a sterilized needle and takes out the puss into the syringe. Sometimes, antibiotics may be pushed through the I.V channels. This is done when the patient is very ill and cannot swallow any tablets or with the patient having medical problem of diabetes.
After the abscess is drained out properly, the patient can be discharged, obviously with a number of suggestions to be followed. Moreover, they must be careful about certain ‘alarming signs’ such as problem in breathing, swallowing, bleeding, drooling, high fever, and difficulty in speaking. All these after a successful withdrawal of the puss indicate that the situation has worsened and there may be life risk of the patient too.
A Tonsillectomy may be desirable in those circumstances where there is history of chronic tonsillitis or an obstacle of the upper airway. This is mostly required as there are some complications that may arise with time and some of them are life threatening too. The different complications that you may face in peritonsillar abscess are blockage in airways, if a major blood vessel is eroded, then bleeding may occur, dehydration due to difficulty in swallowing, pneumonia, spies and even meningitis.