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Peritonsillar Abscess

Basics

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Definition

Peritonsillar abscess is a collection of infected material in the area around the tonsils.

See also: Retropharyngeal abscess

Symptoms

One or both tonsils become infected. The infection may spread over the roof of the mouth (palate), and to the neck and chest, including the lungs. Swollen tissues may block the airway, which is a life-threatening medical emergency.

The abscess can break open (rupture) into the throat, infecting or further blocking the airway.

Symptoms of peritonsillar abscess include:

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