What is a Peritonsillar Abscess?
- A peritonsillar abscess forms in the tissues of the throat next to one of the tonsils.
- An abscess is a collection of pus that forms near an area of infected skin or other soft tissue.
- The abscess can cause pain, swelling, and, if severe, blockage of the throat. If the throat is blocked, swallowing, speaking, and even breathing become difficult.
- When an infection of the tonsils (known as tonsillitis) spreads and causes infection in the soft tissues, a peritonsillar abscess may result.
- Peritonsillar abscess is relatively common in adults but rare in infants and young children.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/1/2015
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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