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Peritonsillar Abscess (cont.)

Peritonsillar Abscess Symptoms

The first symptom of peritonsillar abscess is usually a sore throat. A period without fever or other symptoms may follow as the abscess develops. It is not unusual for a delay of 2-5 days between the start of symptoms and abscess formation.

  • The mouth and throat may show a swollen area of inflammation - typically on one side.
  • The uvula (the small finger of tissue that hangs down in the middle of the throat) may be shoved away from the swollen side of the mouth.
  • Lymph glands in the neck may be enlarged and tender.
  • Other signs and symptoms may be observed:
    • Severe sore throat that becomes isolated to one side
    • Painful swallowing
    • Fever and chills
    • Muscle spasm in the muscles of the jaw (trismus) and neck (torticollis)
    • Ear pain on the same side as the abscess
    • A muffled voice, often described as a "hot potato" voice (sounds as if you have a mouthful of hot potato when you talk)
    • Difficulty swallowing saliva
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/28/2014
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Peritonsillar Abscess »

A peritonsillar abscess (PTA) is a localized accumulation of pus in the peritonsillar tissues that forms as a result of suppurative tonsillitis.

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