Quinsy is a common name given to peritonsillar abscess formation in the tonsil area. It affects people in their late teens and adulthood and usually affects one tonsil more than the other. It has the potential to be very dangerous if left untreated.
- A severe and quickly worsening sore throat, usually on one side
- Swelling inside the mouth and throat
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Pain when swallowing
- Difficulty swallowing, which may cause you to drool
- earache on the affected side
- difficulty breathing
If your doctor thinks that you have a mild form of quinsy or typical Tonsillitis, you may be fortunate enough to be offered a course of antibiotics which will help the body fight the bad bacteria away and reduce the swelling and abscesses.
For others though, surgery may be necessary in which the abscess is incised and drained and a course of antibiotics is given after the procedure. This will require a visit to hospital and the use of a general anaesthetic while the procedure is being carried out followed by the antibiotics and pain relief.
One of the best ways to prevent quinsy is to reduce your risk of developing tonsillitis.
You can help do this by avoiding close contact with people who have viral or bacterial infections that cause tonsillitis, regularly washing your hands with soap and warm water, and not sharing glasses or utensils with people who are ill. Smoking may increase your risk of quinsy, so stopping smoking may reduce your chances of getting it.