Peritonsillar Abscess (cont.)
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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
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